7/15/2020 11:13:00 PM Vandal Found Thanks To CrimeStoppers
Photos Courtesy of Demarius Pearson and Lincolnton Police Department
Wayne Howard Staff Writer
There's an update on the vandalism that damaged a mural on North Poplar Street in Lincolnton. On Wednesday, Lincoln County CrimeStoppers received a tip that led to the vehicle involved and the identity of the subject driving the truck during the burn out. The subject is a 17-year-old juvenile. He was said to be cooperative when contacted by police, and he will be charged with misdemeanor Damage to Real Property in juvenile court at a later date.
For anyone not familiar, the mural of the words "United We Stand" was painted on Poplar Street in front of the First Federal Park over the weekend (Saturday July 11th and Sunday July 12th).
The mural was created by artist Demarius Pearson with help from multiple volunteers. Pearson wanted to offer an expression of hope and unity to the marginalized in our community. He at first hoped to include flags of countries from which some immigrants to Lincolnton had come. He wanted to include the LGBTQ citizens. While Pearson is black, his wasn't a 'black lives matter' mural; it was an 'all lives matter' mural in the truest sense of the words. He said it wasn't meant to offend anybody.
Pearson had put his plan before the Lincolnton City Council at their meeting June 25th and got approval. When some voiced criticism because his original design did not include an American flag, Pearson changed the design. There are no flags in the mural. Additionally, to placate those who felt the mural was unpatriotic, the decision was made to place an American flag--not on the ground or as a part of the mural--but in front of the building at First Federal Park. Pearson said the mural was meant to express what America is all about: that despite our differences--in color, ethnicity, religion, sexual preferences, or politics--we are all a part of this community (and of America).
On Tuesday night (July 14th) at approximately 10:13 PM someone vandalized the mural by doing a tire burn out from one end to the other.
Most know that downtown Lincolnton has multiple police cameras. That's how police identified the person responsible as a white male driving a dark-colored pickup truck. A photo of the truck was released to the news media and that led to a report to CrimeStoppers.
Pearson told us Wednesday morning: "We’re going to find a way to incorporate the tire marks into the art. Not scratching it out. Literally putting it into the message I’m sending."
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