Five different areas on the University of Texas at Austin (UT) campus were hit with graffiti bearing Blacks Lives Matter markings. The graffiti appeared after a Black Lives Matter activist shot himself on the steps of the Ohio statehouse, and after a 17-year-old black man was shot and killed during a confrontation with Austin Police officers on Monday.
A UT Austin police department spokesman told Breitbart Texas they do not know who the perpetrator(s) of the graffiti are. There is an investigation that is still ongoing. He also acknowledged there are surveillance cameras on campus.
The Daily Texan, the newspaper serving the UT community, reported that the graffiti appeared on a half wall in front of Homer Rainey Hall, and on the statutes of Albert Sidney Johnson, Robert E. Lee, John H. Reagan, and James Stephen Hogg on Wednesday. These were defaced with “BLACK LIVES MATTER” and “#BLACKLIVESMATTER” in red paint.
On Monday morning, David Joseph was shot and killed by an Austin Police Department officer. Both are black men reported the Austin American-Statesman. The naked young man did not have a gun or weapon.
The Statesman reported that an attorney for the boy’s family said, “How much of a threat could a boy pose to police under those circumstances?” The attorney, Scott Medlock added, “His mother wants to know why this happened, why her son would be found in this state and why they would respond by shooting him.” The family has called for a “full and fair” investigation into the shooting.
A statement from the young man’s family was reported to say they were “shocked and saddened that he was taken from us in an unexpected and violent way, and are struggling to understand how our child was stolen from us by the police.”
Austin City Councilwoman, Ora Houston, questioned how the situation was handled when it appeared that Joseph was in a state of mental health crisis, reported the local paper. The place where Joseph was shot is in her district.
The Daily Texan reported that there is an audio recording of the officer repeatedly telling Joseph to stop. Only some of the footage from the incident was caught on camera.
In an unrelated event in Ohio on the same day, Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel shot himself on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse, as reported by Breitbart News. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A police officer with the State Highway Patrol, Lt. Craig Cvetan told reporters, “We don’t have any evidence to know the reason why he did it.”
McCarrel posted a haunting message on Facebook just hours before he took his life saying, “My demons won today. I’m sorry.” His last tweet said, “Let the record show that I pissed on the state house before I left.” There were no witnesses to the shooting.
McCarrel organized activists and protests in Ohio after Michael Brown was shot in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014. He was also the founder of an organization for the homeless called Feed the Streets and a youth mentorship program called Pursuing Our Dreams, reported the New York Daily News. He had been homeless for three months after he graduated from high school and this experience was reported to have inspired him.
As reported by Breitbart Texas, vandalism also struck the UT Austin campus in June 2015 when vandals defaced three statues of Confederate leaders with Black Lives Matter markings in red paint. The statues of Texas Confederate General Robert E. Lee and Commander Albert Sidney Johnston were covered with the phrase, “Black Lives Matter.” On the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, the graffiti included a second message – “Bump All The Chumps.”
At that time, the incident marked the third time the statue of Davis had been vandalized in 2015. The property damage came after South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley called for the removal of the Confederate flag from state capitol grounds. Members of the UT student body mounted a campaign to remove the Davis statue, and the statue was removed in late August 2015.
Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2