Building Owners Paint Over Mural, Leaving Oak Park Community Members Disappointed

OAK PARK -- Community members in Oak Park are voicing their disappointment after a mural, commemorating black men killed by Sacramento-area police, was painted over.

The mural, which was painted on the The Guild Theater, recognized Adriene Ludd, Dazion Flenaugh, Joseph Mann, Lorenzo Cruz, Desmond Phillips, Mikel McIntyre and Ryan Ellis with their faces and names.

"Immediately we put flowers out there and candles, and the first thing I thought is this is a perfect space for families to come and mourn their loved ones or for the city to come and learn about the people that had been killed," said Tanya Faison of the Sacramento chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter is hosting a protest event on November 18 in hopes the mural will be restored.

In a Facebook post, the group said:

The mural was also bringing Blackness back into a community that is rapidly erasing Black history and Black culture through gentrification ...
Just a few days later it was removed. The wall looks horrible now.

The mural, seen on the left, appears to have been cleaned and painted over, seen on the right.

Tracy Stigler, president of St. Hope Development, the company which owns the building, says it was brought to his attention that the mural was just another tagging. St. Hope is a non-profit founded by NBA all-star and former Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.

Stigler told FOX40 tagging happens quite frequently on that building, and since it is a historic building, they often clean it off fast, as it is the original brick from 1915.

He says he never saw the mural, and just gave the order to have it cleaned. Only after it was cleaned was he told it was a memorial.

"Why would they paint over these faces that were beautiful, the art was beautiful and then just cover it up with just big red splotches?" Faison said. "If you're worried about how your building looks, then you wouldn't do that."

Stigler says he is open to dialogue with Faison and Black Lives Matter about having a memorial, but he doesn’t want anything painted illegally on private property.

"All I know is that it should go back up," Faison said.