Lightning strike? Vandalism? Ohio Mayor Says ‘We May Never Know…

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A mural honoring George Floyd collapsed on Tuesday in Toledo, Ohio, after authorities said lightning had struck it.

The mayor of Toledo offered less assurance when reached by USA TODAY. The city will work with Toledo’s art committee and the artist to replace the mural, “so that the message can be heard at the heart of this artwork,” Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said in a statement.

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“We may never know for sure why the George Floyd mural came down. It could have been a natural disaster or vandalism,” said Kapszukiewicz. “What we do know is that the mural will be replaced.”

A witness told Toledo Fire and Rescue that the wall the mural was painted on fell after a bolt of lightning struck the building. according to WZZM-TV. The department told the station that the lightning strike was the cause of the collapse.

Toledo Police told WTVG-TV that witnesses reported that the mural had been destroyed by lightning, and the station’s Doppler radar showed a lightning strike in the area Tuesday night.

There were thunderstorms in the Toledo Metro area Tuesday between 4 and 5 p.m., and those storms include “frequent lightning strikes,” the National Weather Service confirmed.

The mural was created a year ago by the Toledo artist David Ross, according to local media. It was the site for memorials honoring Floyd, whose murder at the hands of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin sparked protests and calls to re-examine systemic racism across the country.

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter on @christinetfern.

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