SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — Police in San Rafael were seeking the public’s help in finding a man who brandished a weapon at people who objected to his removal of a Breonna Taylor mural along a busy intersection, in an incident captured on video.
The chalk mural was drawn on a portion of the center divide at the intersection of Las Gallinas Ave. and Freitas Parkway. San Rafael police said Tuesday there has been tension and they have received a number of calls for service at the location because of people washing the mural away while others are remaking the mural in the same location.
The Marin Independent Journal reported the mural was originally removed by the city on September 3 after it was deemed graffiti because it did not go through the public approval process, and that the mural has been removed several times but not by city employees.
Police said on Thursday, officers responded to a report of a man brandishing a weapon at a crowd of people. A video posted on social media shows people objecting to his removal of the mural using a bucket and a broom, and the man replies saying he is “with the city.”
BREAKING: A man in San Rafael brandished a gun at someone who kicked over the bucket of water he was using to wash off a Breonna Taylor chalk mural. In the vid posted Thursday, he was asked, "What are you doing, bro?" The man replied "I'm with the city." Stay tuned for updates. pic.twitter.com/NkpRNO8LW7
— Lorenzo Morotti (@Enzomorotti) September 28, 2020
The video shows someone in the crowd kicking over the water bucket, at which the man then pulls out a weapon and points it toward a group of people, which included a woman pushing a child in a stroller. Police said the weapon appears to be either a handgun or a Taser. The man fled before police arrived.
Police described the man as White and heavy-set, wearing a multi-colored cloth face mask, turquoise shirt, khaki pants/shorts, and carrying a broom and a black bucket.
Because of the heightened tensions in the area, San Rafael police said it would be installing security cameras in the area in the hope of deterring any future incidents or criminal activity at the site.
Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect is asked to call San Rafael Police at (415) 485-3000. Tips can also be made online at srpd.org/tips.