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3 arrested for spray painting on 'Back the Blue' mural in Tampa, police say

Mural painted August 1 outside TPD headquarters
Posted at 8:38 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 09:55:58-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Three people were arrested late Tuesday night for spray painting on a "Back the Blue" mural that was painted outside of the Tampa Police Department headquarters earlier this month, according to authorities.

The controversial mural gained approval and criticism since it was painted by a group of about 40 people on August 1. City officials said the mural was never approved, while the group behind it said it got verbal approval from the mayor's office.

Police say a total of eight people were detained around 11 p.m. on Tuesday after officers saw them spray painting. The department says detectives reviewed video on scene and identified four of the detained people as committing criminal mischief.

According to police, the group used spray paint to write curse words, slurs and pictures over the mural.

The four people were placed into custody, a juvenile was released and three adults were transported to booking. Police say they are Emily Gabaree, 19, Alexander Drummond, 18, and Seth Raigoza, 18.

The juvenile was given a notice to appear and released to their parent.

The mural was previously vandalized on August 5. There have been no arrests related to that incident.

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No other information has been released at this time.

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