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Chad Breinholt mural vandalized in Salt Lake City

(KSL TV)



SALT LAKE CITY — The social justice mural for Chad Breinholt, located on 800 South and 300 West in Salt Lake City, appears to have been vandalized overnight.

A neighbor told KSL-TV they noticed it Saturday morning, however, no reports of vandalism were filed with police.

"Those murals have just become a place for these families to go to," said Susan Neese, Chad Breinholt's mother.

For Breinholt's family, the mural painted in his memory serves as a place to pay their respects.

"To just remember these faces are human and they have stories," said Neese.

Overnight, his mural appears to have been vandalized.

It's not the first time something like this has happened at the murals on 800 South and 300 West.

"Chad's eyes were blacked out, as well as his name, and again, it was the only mural," said Neese.

Breinholt's family was just in the area Friday night.

They said they weren't sure if this was a targeted incident.

"It was probably more targeted," said Chad's brother, Chase Breinholt. "It doesn't look like somebody went and was trying to make a statement."

Breinholt was fatally shot by West Valley City police officers while in the department's basement processing center in August 2019.

His family is still waiting for the findings in the investigation of the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office.

"We're just trying to be patient and hope that they do a thorough investigation," said Chase.

In response, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office told KSL-TV its work was ongoing.

"Every time there is a loss of life in the community, it's a tragedy. Investigations don't have a time limit, as they require thorough review in finding the truth, but findings will be shared with family and the community as soon as they are available," DA officials said.

"My understanding is they were going to meet with me a year ago, and that meeting didn't take place, and so here we are a year later, and we are still waiting," said Neese.

Beinholt's family said they remain hopeful in finding answers.

In the meantime, Breinholt's mural has been restored, just in time to warm a mother's heart.

"Very heartbreaking for me to see that, and the fact that they were so quick to fix it before Mother's Day," said Neese. "I just want to thank those wonderful anonymous artists."

The DA's office said there have been about 45 officer-involved shootings in the last three years — 21 in 2018, 7 in 2019, and 17 in 2020.

Breinholt's family told KSL-TV they were considering filing a civil lawsuit.

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Garna Mejia

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