Pajaronian file Volunteers work on the Black Lives Matter mural in Santa Cruz in 2020.

Santa Cruz Police arrested a man Tuesday for allegedly vandalizing a Black Lives Matter public mural on Center Street in downtown Santa Cruz last summer.

Taj Blum, 49, was charged with felony vandalism. He was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail in lieu of $5,000 bail, jail records showed.

Prosecutors have not charged Blum with a hate crime.

The crime occurred on July 29, when somebody splattered blue paint on the Black Lives Matter mural painting on the street at 800 Center St.. After interviewing witnesses, conducting forensic examinations and serving multiple search warrants, they gathered enough evidence to stack up a case against Blum, Deputy Chief Jon Bush said.

It’s not the first time the mural has been vandalized. 

In 2021 Hagan Warner and Brandon Bochat burned truck tire marks  across the mural in what prosecutors described as a hate crime for felony vandalism. They were sentenced to 90 days in jail and ordered to pay $19,000 in restitution, two years of probation and 144 hours of community service. 

Painting the mural was part of nationwide protests for racial justice and police accountability after George Floyd, a Black man, was killed by Minneapolis Police in 2020.

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  1. Insert eye roll. One of the biggest scams our nation has seen was blm. Tell me how many lives were changed through this organization besides Patrisse Cullors & gang? That’s why many black Americans are not falling for Biden’s administration. My family lives in a rural area and many black Americans are commiefornia escapees. Wake up y’all don’t drink the koolaid this election season.

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  2. One of my tenants was robbed at gunpoint in Santa Cruz last weekend. When he called the SC police they said to come in and file a report they couldn’t come to the scene because they were short staffed that day. Glad I bought my winter home in Florida very safe here. I’ll be back to collect rent in the spring Florida has no state income tax 🤩

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  3. Don’t you need a permit to paint something on public property. I may be wrong, yet, I remember they never had s permit for it so that’s a crime in it self.

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