RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — New videos appear to show two people defacing the Arthur Ashe mural in Richmond’s Battery Park with white nationalist tags nearly a year after the vandalism took place.
Two videos uploaded on YouTube Tuesday by Unicorn Riot, an independent media collective, claim to be recordings from Oct. 20, 2021, in the city. The videos show two individuals spray painting over a colorful mural of Arthur Ashe, including inside a tunnel that appears to be the one in Battery Park.
The “Patriot Front” symbols painted over the mural in the videos are identical to the ones tagged over Richmond’s mural last year, including their placement over the images of Ashe.
“The vandalism was reported when it occurred, a detective was assigned and an investigation initiated,” a Richmond police spokesperson said in an email. “This video changes the nature of our ongoing investigation and may prove helpful with apprehending those responsible for the crime.”
Several parts of the Ashe mural were covered with racist graffiti. Last year, Richmond Parks and Recreation Department said the symbols were found on both sides of Arthur Ashe’s face as well as inside the tunnel on excerpts about his life.
The YouTube videos show the two people spraying over excerpts in a tunnel, including one that read “Ashe won the Wimbledon finals, becoming the first African-American male to be ranked #1 in the world.”
The city’s mural honoring Ashe, a tennis legend and Richmond native, was put near the segregated tennis courts he practiced on and was meant to revitalize Battery Park’s tunnel.
Police is asking for anyone with additional information about the case to contact RPD Detective Tedeschi at 804-646-2939.
Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story.