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Mural of man killed by West Valley City officer defaced

Posted at 9:20 PM, May 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-08 23:34:08-04

SALT LAKE CITY — One of the murals in Salt Lake City memorializing people killed by police was defaced Saturday.

Susan Neese, Chad Breinholt's mother, wrote in a Facebook post that her son's was the only mural vandalized out of the many on the building known as "Fleet Block."

The mural of Breinholt was one of several painted by a group of anonymous artists in the summer of 2020 on the sides of a city-owned building.

The vandal(s) covered Breinholt's eyes, mouth and other parts of his face with black paint. They also painted over his name.

"There are some really terrible people out there to do something so horrible and heartbreaking," Neese said.

However, she added that artists stopped by the same day to fix the damage, which she said she was especially thankful for ahead of Mother's Day.

"These murals in SLC on 800 South 300 West have become a place of remembrance for families of those killed by police," Neese wrote. "The artist[s] have worked hard to maintain them and the community support is very much appreciated."

A mural of George Floyd on the same building was also defaced last summer shortly after it went up. The perpetrator(s) threw black tar across Floyd's portrait, but the artists returned to restore it as well.

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Breinholt was shot and killed in August 2019. He was in police custody on suspicion of driving under the influence when he reached for a West Valley City Police officer's gun. Another officer then shot and killed Breinholt, who was handcuffed during the altercation.