Park City police await forensic assistance in probe into Black Lives Matter mural vandalism
The Park City Police Department continues to investigate an act of vandalism that targeted a large Black Lives Matter mural on Main Street and another social justice artwork that was created on the street at the same time.
The vandalism occurred in the overnight hours just days after the murals were created on Independence Day. The vandal or vandals covered the work “Black” with gray paint and covered a clenched fist symbol that stood for the letter ‘i’ in the word “Lives.” One of the other murals, reading “Peace, Unity, Love,” was also targeted.
A surveillance camera at a private business on Main Street captured an image of two people that night. Darwin Little, a police lieutenant, said one of the people seen in the image became a person of interest in the vandalism. Little said the man is from Davis County and is cooperating with the investigation.
Little said the person of interest has denied responsibility and told the police he took part in Black Lives Matter marches as a supporter of the movement. He has not provided evidence of participation in marches, though, Little said. The Davis County man has also told the police he was not in Park City on the night the vandalism occurred, according to the lieutenant. The Police Department is awaiting federal forensic assistance. Little said the police want to obtain GPS data from the person’s phone, as an example.
Little said the Police Department has not developed leads other than those involving the Davis County man.
Little has previously said a police officer in Park City pulled over a vehicle several nights after the act of vandalism and recognized the driver as matching the description of the person of interest seen on the surveillance footage. The person was “driving around with no apparent reason” when the vehicle was stopped, Little has said, indicating the police learned the person once worked for a paint contractor.
If the police determine the person was not responsible, the agency intends to move the case status to inactive, meaning new leads would need to be developed for the investigation to continue.
Anybody with information about the vandalism may contact the Police Department at 435-615-5500 or the department’s tip line, 435-615-5555.
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