A recently installed Progress Pride mural painted on a street in Fort Lauderdale was defaced by two men in a pickup truck late last month. The entire act was caught on video, and the mayor of the city told local ABC affiliate WPLG the city will track down those responsible for the vandalism.
“If they were sending us a message, I have a message to send them back,” Mayor Dean Trantalis told WPLG. “You’re not welcome. Take your hatred somewhere else.”
The Progress Pride mural was only recently installed, but police said this was not the first time someone has tried to deface it.
Video of the incident shows a black or dark-colored Ford F-250 truck driving over the mural before reversing course to drive over the mural with his tires burning out and leaving skid marks the length of the mural. A man, dressed only in a towel wrapped around his waist, can also be seen exiting the truck from the passenger door to take video of the vandalism.
Miik Martorell of Pride Fort Lauderdale told WPLG the flag mural was the result of “a lot of hard fought battles” and expressed concern about the type of person who would commit such an act.
“It says that people aren’t really tolerant of the people that live in the community with them. I mean we all are the same we are all human beings and we all want to be treated the same and there’s just no reason for that hate,” Martorell said.
While Martorell expressed concern about the incident, Mayor Trantalis promised closure for the community.
“We will find the perpetrators,” Trantalis said. “We will track them down.”