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Three arrested after Black Lives Matter mural near Trump Tower defaced for 2nd time this week

This time, blue paint was used to vandalize the city-approved mural on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.
Image: Protesters throw paint on a Black Lives Matter mural outside of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, New York
Workers clean paint thrown by protesters on the Black Lives Matter mural outside of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York on July 17, 2020.Andrew Kelly / Reuters

Three people were arrested and a fourth was issued a summons after a Black Lives Matter mural on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower was vandalized with blue paint Friday afternoon, police said.

The incident, which happened about 4:00 p.m., marks the second in a week that someone threw paint on the mural, which the city painted July 9.

Two women and a man were arrested and charged with criminal mischief after surveillance video showed them smearing the blue paint, police said. Germanotta, 39, D'Anna Morgan, 25, and Luis Martinez, 44 were released with a desk appearance ticket, according to police.

Another person, who was identified only as a 64-year-old woman, was issued a summons for illegally posting fliers.

NBC New York reported that it appeared to be a coordinated effort.

Morgan and Germanotta said that their actions were in part motivated by anger at Mayor Bill de Blasio. Morgan, who is Black, said she has members of law enforcement in her family.

"Basically, I'm just sick and tired of the disrespect that our law enforcement is getting under de Blasio and Cuomo," Morgan said, referring to the mayor and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. "I am not anti-Black at all. I am African American. All lives matter, including Black lives," she added.

Germanotta, who is friends with Morgan, said that others have painted graffiti around New York City and she doesn't think they should have been arrested. "Why do I get arrested for speaking my mind and having a disobedient protest and they don't?" she said.

Germanotta was seen being arrested while wearing an "All Lives Matter" shirt and wearing a rainbow-colored flag with the words "LGBT for Trump" on it. She said she wants people to know she is transgender, HIV positive and a registered Democrat who plans to vote for Trump in November.

On Monday, a man dumped red paint on part of the mural before running away. The NYPD has released photos of that man and say he is wanted for criminal mischief.

The Black Lives Matter mural was installed after protests and calls for racial justice and police reform that followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.

Trump, a former New York City resident, has criticized the mural.

Trump called it a "symbol of hate" after plans were announced. The president tweeted at the time that it would be "denigrating" to what he called a luxury avenue.

After Monday's vandalism, the mural was quickly repainted.

De Blasio, a Democrat who helped paint some of it, was defiant after that incident, tweeting "nice try" and noting that it had already been fixed.

Black Lives Matter movement "is more than words, and it can’t be undone," he said.

Trump in October changed his permanent residence from New York City to Florida.

Cuomo, a Democrat, remarked at the time: "Good riddance. It's not like Mr. Trump paid taxes here anyway." The governor added, "He's all yours, Florida."

Trump tweeted about the change in residence at the time that "I cherish New York, and the people of New York, and always will." But the president said "I have been treated very badly by the political leaders of both the city and state."