It takes Terrell Bradley’s supporters between four and five hours each time they paint the mural. Yet they don’t plan to let up.
Bradley and Danielle Chanzes set to work a third time at the SW 34th Street wall at 6:30 a.m. on Friday. Overnight, someone partially obscured their past handiwork by scrawling hate messages and symbols in spray paint atop it.
“You can cover up our messages but you can’t stop our movement. It’s #justice for Terrell Bradley. Every. Damn. Day,” read the words Bradley and Chanzes painted in red and white paint Friday morning.
A Gainesville Police Department (GPD) K-9 seriously injured Bradley, 30, in the aftermath of a July 10 traffic stop. Surgeons ultimately removed Bradley’s damaged right eye, and he now wears an eyepatch.
According to police reports, Bradley, a convicted felon residing in Gainesville, failed to stop his vehicle at a stop sign at Sweetwater Square Apartments on NE 15th Street. An officer pursued him, and Bradley’s vehicle eventually came to a stop at Eden Park at Ironwood, an apartment complex located on NE 39th Avenue.
After the officer noticed contraband within Bradley’s vehicle and instructed him to exit, Bradley struggled with him and then took off on foot, GPD said. Police back-up arrived, and a leashed K-9 bit Bradley upon locating him hiding behind bushes at Eden Park. Officers searched Bradley’s vehicle and uncovered a stolen firearm.
“You can disagree with what he did,” Chanzes said Friday. “But people are really showing their true colors when they come out here and paint swastikas on our wall and say, ‘God bless Derek Chauvin,’ a man who’s literally been convicted of murder for the amount of excessive force he used on George Floyd. So, we know where people stand, but we’re not intimidated by it, and we’re not going to slow down because of it.”
Police Chief Lonnie Scott has announced the initiation of an official department review of the incident and the temporary removal of the K-9 involved, but he has yet to publicly announce any action taken against the officers who pursued Bradley.
Bradley’s family members and friends collectively came up with the idea to paint the 34th Street mural, Chanzes said. Eight people worked on the original version, which they completed Sunday. An unknown person or group of people subsequently painted over it in black. Bradley’s group worked between 6 and 10 p.m. Thursday to finish a second version.
By 2 a.m. Friday, however, a friend driving by the site noticed vandals had added the blessing for Chauvin, a backward swastika labeled “sauwastika” and, oddly, the word “Peace” all in light blue. In Buddhism, a left-facing swastika, or sauwastika, refers to the sun.
Bradley reflected on the hostility during a break from painting Friday.
“Everybody, we just want to be treated equal,” he said. “We just want the cops and stuff to be accountable for what they did. That’s all. We want justice from both sides of the playing field. That’s all.”