Vandalization Targets Mural Depicting Slain Activist, Police Officer

Oct 27, 2020

A controversial mural in downtown Eugene has been vandalized, a few weeks past its unveiling.

Top and bottom left: the "Fibers of History" mural from earlier this month. Top and bottom right: The same mural after it was defaced sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

“Fibers of History” shows various images representing the Latinx and Indigenous community. But the inclusion of a police officer and slain activist Charles Landeros was provocative.

Some locals regard Landeros as a community activist who fought systemic oppression, on behalf of people of color and transgender residents.  Landeros clashed with University of Oregon adminstrators while attending as a student, and also formed a group that trained people from underrepresented communities in firearms. 

Others regard Landeros’ actions during a 2019 child custody dispute – which ended with Landeros violating several court orders, then being shot dead by police after firing at them outside their daughter’s school – as reckless and traumatizing, especially to their kids and those on campus.

The art - and the subsequent vandalization - comes at a time when relationships among law enforcement and the general community are fraught with racial tension and mistrust, following months of activism for social justice.

The mural was slathered in blue paint sometime Monday night or early Tuesday morning.  The paint obscures Landeros’ face, as well as the police officer.  “Blue Lives Matter” was painted on the sidewalk.

The EPD says its Special Investigations Unit is looking into the incident.  Chief Chris Skinner says regardless of heightened emotions surrounding the imagery, vandalism is a crime, and only serves to further divide the community "at a time when we need to be coming together.”

Copyright 2020, KLCC.