Words ‘Black Lives Matter’ spray-painted over UT Confederate monument

A piece of graffiti near the UT Littlefield Fountain says "black lives matter" on Thursday July 7, 2016. Workers were working to scrub the words off the wall. Jessalyn Tamez / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Graffiti near Littlefield Fountain says “Black Lives Matter” on Thursday July 7, 2016. Workers were working to scrub the words off the wall. Jessalyn Tamez / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Someone spray-painted the words “Black Lives Matter” on a University of Texas monument dedicated to Confederate soldiers.

The graffiti was discovered early Thursday and is being investigated by University Police.

The monument is near the Littlefield Fountain on the South Mall near East 21st Street.

The incident comes on the heels of two controversial police shootings of African-American men — one in Baton Rouge, La., and one in the Minneapolis area. In both cases, cellphone video documented the incidents and went viral.

Alton Sterling, 37, was killed in an encounter with Baton Rouge police officers Tuesday night who were responding to a 911 call about a man with a gun. Videos have emerged showing police shooting Sterling before discovering a gun in one of his pockets.

The aftermath of Philando Castile’s shooting death in his car Wednesday by police in Minnesota was documented by his girlfriend via live-streaming on Facebook Live. Castile had been pulled over for a busted taillight and told the officer he had a concealed carry permit.

Earlier this year, on Feb. 10, four statues and a wall at the University of Texas also were defaced with the spray-painted words “Black Lives Matter.” The statues of Confederate figures Albert Sidney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, John H. Reagan and James Stephen Hogg in the South Mall were targeted.

The graffiti was reported two days after the death of David Joseph, a naked and unarmed 17-year-old who was shot by an Austin police officer on Feb 8 in a Northwest Austin neighborhood.


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