Mural of Barack Obama defaced in Birmingham’s Smithfield neighborhood

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Along Rev. Abraham Woods Boulevard in the Smithfield neighborhood, a defaced mural of country’s former president is causing neighbors to do a double take.

“Tears came to my eyes, because i think it was a horrible thing,” Smithfield resident Drucilla Davis said. “It was a disgrace.

Davis has lived in Smithfield for most of her life and said she was proud of the painting of former President Barack Obama. Now, she questions why someone would damage the artwork.

Residents said the painting had been in the neighborhood a few years and has been a source of pride for the community, which is located along the civil rights trail. The mural is directly across from Parker High School and neighbors hope someone can help clean it up.

“We’re trying to get the people to move back over here and build new stuff to get the people to stay here because one time, Smithfield was the area folks liked to come to,” Smithfield neighbor Debra Taylor said.

City public works crews were out looking at the painting Monday, but it’s unclear what leaders can do since it’s on private property.

“It is kind of confusing as to what the intent was here,” Birmingham City Councilman Darrell O’Quinn said. “There are plenty of places that need murals where artists could potentially utilize their talents, so we certainly don’t need to be disrupting existing murals.”

One Smithfield neighbor posted on social media that she would offer a reward of $1,000 to find whoever was responsible. Meanwhile, Davis offered a simple message.

“Don’t come to the Smithfield area and tear up while we are trying to build up, you know,” she said. “We’re here to make Smithfield beautiful again.”

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