SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — An LGBTQ-themed mural that went up in San Francisco’s Mission District earlier this month was defaced Monday night for a third time, when it was set on fire by an unknown arsonist.
The charred mural outside the Galeria de la Raza cultural center at 24th and Bryant Streets, initially went up on June 13th and was spray painted on by vandals within days. The digital mural, printed on a wall-sized piece of canvas, depicts a transgender Latino man and two Latino gay couples.
Area resident Jeff Thompson said he was concerned with how close the fire got to the apartments on the building’s second floor.
“To those people, think about the fact that kids live around here.” Real lives are in real danger when you do things like this,” he said.
The gallery already replaced the mural twice this month and had reportedly promised to replace it from vandalism as many times as it takes.
Nayima Hopkins just shook her head when she surveyed the damage.
“People just want to be equal in their own community and this just shows that it’s a long way to go,” Hopkins said.
Another neighbor, Diane Lopez, who lives on Bryant Street, stopped to take a photograph of the defacement with her smartphone.
“Each time that it gets destroyed, while I feel a deep sadness, I also know that it only makes people feel stronger about their rights to be who they are,” said Lopez.
Police are reviewing footage of surveillance cameras set up on the building.