AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police charged a woman with a state jail felony after they say she tagged “BLACK LIVES MATTER” across an Interstate 35 overpass. Police say they caught Evelyn Butler, 45, after she spray-painted the 51st Street bridge over Interstate 35. She also allegedly attached some colored streamers to the bridge as well. Butler was charged with criminal mischief.
One Twitter user saw Butler’s arrest and wrote about the incident on social media.
— Crystal Paull (@cpaullATX) April 28, 2015
KXAN met up with Paull who said she was driving on I-35 and saw the message and arrest.
“I thought, well, this is someone in our own city who also is standing up for what they believe is injustice in other parts of the country,” said Paull. “I didn’t completely judge them, but I did think maybe not the best idea.”
Paull is a graduate student at the University of Texas, and focusing on historical records and Black Studies.
“I’m looking at it through the historian lens and I’m looking at it through a person of color lens and as a mother and as a sister.”
Police found a can of black spray paint and some colorful streamers in Butler’s possession, according to the report. The witnesses to the crime worked for the City of Austin, and the cleanup cost $2,500.
Butler’s arrest comes as protests and some riots have erupted in cities throughout the nation because of unarmed black men being killed by police officers.