NYPD has arrested at least eight for vandalizing Black Lives Matter memorial

NYPD has arrested at least eight for vandalizing Black Lives Matter memorial
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New York City police have arrested at least eight people for vandalizing the city's Black Lives Matter mural since it was painted on the street in front of Trump Tower just a few weeks ago.

The Washington Post reported Monday that the tally rose over the weekend with the arrest of Mark-David Hutt, 37, a white man from Rochester who is accused of dumping paint on the mural both on Saturday and Sunday.

New York City Police Department (NYPD) Detective Denise Moroney told the Post Hutt was charged with criminal mischief and that authorities have arrested eight people for vandalizing the mural.

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The NYPD did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill and didn't respond to the Post's inquiry about a possible threat by Hutt to deface the mural a third time.

A video thought to have been posted on Facebook by Hutt included his confession and plans to spill paint on the mural on Monday as well, the Post reported. A Facebook page reportedly run by Hutt also referred to activists protesting police brutality and racism as “NO DIFFERENT than the KKK,” according to the Post.

“Saturday, I splashed Red. Sunday, I splashed White. & on Monday," Hutt wrote, according to the Post. "Mayor Bill De Blasio [D] has ruined NYC & has put a target on the back of NYPD’s finest. We need to STAND UP and take our country back. #BlueLivesMatter."

Officials across the country have taken steps to recognize the Black Lives Matter movement since protests against police brutality and racial inequality broke out in late May, including by painting murals or renaming streets, and many of the efforts have drawn backlash.

In Redwood City, Calif., activists accused city officials of removing a newly painted Black Lives Matter street painting after a supporter of President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew Biden campaign ad jabs at Trump's reported 0 income tax payments Ocasio-Cortez: Trump contributed less in taxes 'than waitresses and undocumented immigrants' Third judge orders Postal Service to halt delivery cuts MORE demanded permission to paint a pro-Trump mural on the street in response.

Trump himself has referred to the street painting in front of Trump Tower as a "symbol of hate" and blasted de Blasio for the painting's cost.

"NYC is cutting Police $’s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury avenue,” he tweeted.

“Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!” the president added.