Someone spilled paint on Tampa’s illegal ‘Back the Blue’ mural

It is now even more illegible.

click to enlarge Someone spilled paint on Tampa’s illegal ‘Back the Blue’ mural
Photo by Colin Wolf

Downtown Tampa’s objectively—and symbolically—ugly ‘Back the Blue’ street mural is now even more illegible now that someone spilled red and black paint on it.

The work on Madison Street just outside Tampa Police headquarters was painted without a permit over the weekend and now features red and black accents.

The street murals original organizers and painters—some with disturbing criminal historiesillegally blocked off the street as they completed the work.

Some local outlets are saying the widely-mocked mural was “vandalized,” but can someone actually vandalize something that was a vandalization to begin with?

Kristen Krutz, a Lutz resident who helped organize the 'Back the Blue" mural, told the Tampa Bay Times that volunteers would be back Wednesday to help repaint the mural. 

On Wednesday, TPD released a statement saying they're now pursuing charges and offering a reward for whoever spilled the paint. However, they have not said if there's currently an active case regarding the group who originally painted the “Back the Blue” mural without a permit, and illegally shut down the street for hours. 

click to enlarge Someone spilled paint on Tampa’s illegal ‘Back the Blue’ mural
Photo by Colin Wolf


In a Monday afternoon statement sent to CL, Castor said, “Any tribute to honor their service is welcome. It’s unfortunate they didn’t see the permitting process through so that our community could participate in showing their appreciation for the brave men and women that service our residents every day.”

Creative Loafing Tampa Bay reached out to see what Castor’s office has to say about the new additions to the work.

At least it doesn’t look totally like the Confederate Flag anymore.

This is a developing story.

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About The Author

Ray Roa

Read his 2016 intro letter and disclosures from 2022 and 2021. Ray Roa started freelancing for Creative Loafing Tampa in January 2011 and was hired as music editor in August 2016. He became Editor-In-Chief in August 2019. Past work can be seen at Suburban Apologist, Tampa Bay Times, Consequence of Sound and The...
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