On October 22nd, 2020 in the late afternoon, the Renton Police Department reported a man was in custody, charged with harassment and malicious mischief. A series of events targeting a community mural, and the artists, led up to his arrest. The mural was commissioned by the City of Renton, and its purpose is to build community identity with the residents of Cascade and Benson Hill.
The incident began with an intimidating scene on September 29th. A man stopped on Petrovitsky near where artists were working, then pointed a pistol at the artists then waved it in the air shouting “All Lives Matter”, a phrase used by anti-Black counter-protesters to the Black Lives Matter movement. The artists claimed they recognized this same person from two incidents before, shouting the same phrase.
Then, on October 9th, the mural was defaced with “LAM”, “BOO”, and “Trump”. RPD reports that this was caught on video, but the quality was too low to determine details. Similar graffiti was found in Fairwood on a pet shop, and after cooperation with nearby departments the suspect was detained. The department reports he was also a suspect in another firearm incident.
This community mural is unrelated to efforts by Renton activists to have a Black Lives Matter street mural.