Terrell Bradley defenders fight racist messages and images painted on 34th Street mural

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A mural on Southwest 34th Street was painted with messages demanding justice for Terrell Bradley Thursday night. Hours later, the post was defaced with hate symbols.

Friends and family of Terrell Bradley woke up early Friday morning to repaint hateful messages left on a mural demanding justice for Bradley, who lost his eye on a Gainesville Police Department K-9 after fleeing from police last month.

Police arrested Bradley for a traffic violation and asked him to get out of his car on July 10. Upon his release, Bradley fled after elbowing one of the arresting officers, according to a sworn complaint affidavit. Police found Bradley hiding in the bushes of the Eden Park apartment complex when the K-9 attacked Bradley, taking his eye.

In response to the Bradley incident, community advocates painted a mural demanding that GPD Chief Constable Lonnie Scott release the body and dashcam footage of the violent encounter between Bradley and K-9, which activist Danielle Chanzes says could speed up the investigation and bring clarity. .

The Southwest 34th Street mural was defaced with blue spray paint depicting a swastika and the phrase ‘God Bless Derek Chauvin’, referencing the Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd in 2020. The defacing of the mural comes shortly after anti-Semitic and white supremacist flyers were discovered in neighborhoods of Gainesville.

The Bradley incident prompted further community reactions, such as a protest on July 17, a grassroots inquiry on July 23, and a police advisory board sit-in on July 27.

The mural remained untouched until Thursday morning when locals learned it had been painted black, Chanzes said.

“We kind of just decided, look, it’s another blank canvas,” Chanzes said. “Let’s write a new message.”

Chanzes joined locals on Thursday evening to paint a new message on the wall: a response.

“You can conceal our messages, but you cannot stop our movement,” the message read. “It’s #JusticeForTerrellBradley Every. Doom. Day.”

Residents finished repainting the mural around 10 p.m. Thursday night, Chanzes said. At 2 a.m. it was vandalized a second time with blue spray paint. The defacing of the mural with white supremacist symbols didn’t phase it, Chanzes said.

“We see people’s true colors,” she said. “This is a message of hate.”

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GPD did not respond to requests for comment Saturday afternoon.

Bradley’s 31-year-old close friend Brandon Middleton said repainting the mural showed Bradley’s friends and family weren’t afraid to support him.

“We’re not going to stand in the way of getting the justice needed for Terrell,” Middleton said.

The incident showed how race plays a role in the response to the Bradley incident and is attracting more attention, he said. But it also renewed their desire to fight for what they believe in.

“It just showed how much racism still exists,” Middleton said. “It shows how disrespectful people are and how ugly and mean people can still get.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Jackson Reyes at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @JacksnReyes.

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jackson reyes

Jackson Reyes is a third-year sports journalism student and generalist reporter for the Metro desk. It’s his first semester at the Alligator. When he’s not reporting, he enjoys saving money, collecting records and playing basketball.

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