A Mural of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) symbol George Floyd in Toledo, Ohio, was blasted to bits by a lightning strike on Tuesday, July 13.
The artwork at Summit and Lagrange was produced by Toledo artist David Ross in July 2020 to honor the deceased black man George Floyd. He has become a beacon of racial injustice for losing his life while being held under the knee of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin last year.
Floyd’s death has been held up as a reminder of police discrimination towards people from the black community. Ross dedicated the mural to keep memories of George’s unfortunate death from fading.
The destruction of the artwork was reported to Toledo Fire and Rescue, which later confirmed the site was wrecked by lighting, coinciding with a witness’s report, according to WTOL 11.
Since Floyd’s death, many art pieces have been erected to memorialize him across the United States. In addition, the BLM movement, as well as many politicians, have dwelled on him to put forward ideologies that America hosts an underlying system of hatred, racism, and white supremacy, hence demand social reform.
But not all citizens were happy with the artworks that honor Floyd, citing his criminal record and fentanyl troubles when he was alive.
“George Floyd was a victim—of his drug addiction, self-destructive behavior, and Derek Chauvin’s misconduct,” wrote sports journalist Jason Whitlock in late June of the Floyd statues installed in multiple places nationwide.
According to Snopes, court records showed that the deceased 46-year-old was arrested nine times between 1997 and 2007. Most of the charges were related to drugs and theft. In 2007, he was charged with aggravated robbery with a lethal weapon, which resulted in a conviction and a five-year prison sentence.
“George Floyd is a prop corporate media uses for attention, a pawn liberal politicians use to push policy, and a punching bag social activists use as a symbol to explain black people and promote themselves,” Whitlock added, saying, “deification” of this man was inappropriate.
Two of the statues in tribute to Floyd in Brooklyn, New York, and Newark, New Jersey, were quickly vandalized just days after their introduction.