NYC art gallery paying tribute to Tulsa Race Massacre victims vandalized for 3rd time

SOHO, Manhattan (WABC) -- The NYPD's Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating after a third incident of racist vandalism at the Black Wall Street Gallery in SoHo in one week.

Police say someone used white paint to put the letters "EDHRLL" on a window display at the gallery on Mercer Street Tuesday morning

"It's so cryptic," gallery owner Dr. Ricco Wright said. "Nobody knows. Could be someone's initials...apart from that, I don't know, and the gall of a person to say there's real art on the door when there is real art beyond the door."

Similar incidents occurred on Sunday and Monday.

"It's not so much about SoHo as it is about ignorant people and people who are being willfully ignorant to not stop because they don't care," Dr. Wright said.

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Jim Dolan has more on the act of vandalism that took place at the gallery dedicated to victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre.

Black Wall Street Gallery was originally founded in Tulsa and opened its SoHo location in October 2020.

The art gallery's current exhibition, "21 Piece Salute," brings together 21 art pieces by 21 Black artists in tribute to the Tulsa Race Massacre 100 years ago.

"Here we are, telling this amazing story, and we have to look at this hate," Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said. "We got to stop it."

No arrests have been made.

"I know hate, I know harm, and I know hurt when I see it," NYPD Chief of Community Affairs Jeffrey Maddrey said. "And this is exactly what we have here."

Brewer, former NYC Commissioner Gregg Bishop, and Dr. Wright held a press conference Thursday to denounce the incidents of racist vandalism. Actor Michael K. Williams is a friend and supporter of Dr. Wright.

"I need all artists from New York City born and raised on these streets to come out and support our brother," he said. "And we are going to let him know we've got his back."

RELATED | NYC hiring 1,500 homeless to cleanup graffiti on Manhattan storefronts

The exhibition is a tribute to the Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial, in which white mobs killed hundreds and burned 35 blocks of one of the most affluent Black communities in the nation to the ground.

"On the question of graffiti, you are going to see a big impact from the cleanup corps," Mayor Bill de Blasio said. "They are going to be out there, they are hiring up as we speak. You are going to see a particularly strong impact in July and August as we get ready for everything to come back off the summer. We are going to address the graffiti across the board, and it's one of many things we are doing to bring the city back. And we are going to be employing 10,000 New Yorkers who need a job in the process. So city cleanup corps, I am very proud of it. It's going to make a real impact."

RELATED | Tulsa Race Massacre: Story behind Black Wall Street, racist mob that burned it to the ground
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Exactly 100 years ago, a white mob stormed Tulsa's Greenwood District -- its fabled Black Wall Street.

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