Lightning strike? Vandalism? Ohio mayor says 'we may never know' what destroyed George Floyd mural

by 24USATVJuly 14, 2021, 9 p.m. 20
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A mural honoring George Floyd collapsed into rubble Tuesday in Toledo, Ohio, after authorities told local media outlets lightning hit it.

Toledo's mayor offered less certainty when reached by USA TODAY. The city will work with Toledo's arts commission and the artist to replace the mural, "so that the message at the core of this artwork can be heard," Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said in a statement.

“We may never know for certainty why the George Floyd mural came down. It could have been an act of nature, or it could have been an act of vandalism,” Kapszukiewicz said. "What we do know is that the mural will be replaced."

A witness told Toledo Fire and Rescue that the wall the mural was painted on fell after a lightning bolt struck the building, according to WZZM-TV. The department told the station the lightning strike was the cause of the collapse.

The Toledo Police Department told WTVG-TV that witnesses reported the mural was destroyed by lightning, and the station's doppler radar showed a lightning strike in the area early Tuesday evening.

There were thunderstorms in the Toledo Metro area between 4 and 5 p.m. Tuesday, and those storms contained "frequent lightning strikes," The National Weather Service confirmed.

The mural was created a year ago by Toledo artist David Ross, according to local media. It has been the venue for memorial services in honor of Floyd, whose murder at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin prompted protests and calls to reexamine systemic racism across the country.

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

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