The mural at Fulton and New York avenues was vandalized with black paint shortly after midnight.
It is one in a string of similar acts of people or groups targeting Black Lives Matter murals throughout New York City.
Over the last week, three murals have been defaced: the one in Brooklyn, another in Harlem on Saturday night, and the one on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower has been hit four times.
Video obtained by Eyewitness News shows the first vandal at Trump Tower in action:
An officer was injured during one incident on Saturday after slipping on the paint that was poured on the mural. He injured his arm and his head and was taken to Bellevue Hospital.
A city spiraling out of control and elected officials who couldn’t care less. New Yorkers in every neighborhood and the brave cops who protect them deserve better. Thankful our fellow officer will recover. pic.twitter.com/wUPpQJx1lk— Detectives' Endowment Association (@NYCPDDEA) July 19, 2020
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said he wasn't surprised and thought the vandalism would have happened sooner.
"As I move throughout the communities, I hear the confrontations, the debates and now they are using the murals as a symbol of their frustrations," Adams said. "Pain is pain and people are just trying to find ways to express the pain they are feeling."
The group who created the mural in Harlem says they will fix it, and they see this as a teachable moment and a shift in a much broader conversation about ignorance and self-hate.
"You can cut off the body, but you didn't cut the soul," community activist Erika Ewing said. "The soul is not a lifestyle. It's a movement, and we will be out here making sure and ensuring our community is safe, protected and respected."
The mural in Harlem was considered a safe space. Police have made some arrests and are looking into whether some are repeat offenders.
"To have someone come and in a matter of minutes and try to destroy, I say try to because she didn't, dim our light, it's heartbreaking," said Nikoa Evans Hendricks, with Harlem Park to Park.
Related: 'Black Lives Matter' painted in front of Trump Tower on 5th Avenue
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