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UPDATE: Suspect identified in 'I Can't Breathe' artwork vandalism


Last updated 7/16/2020 at 1:08pm

Maria A. Montalvo

From left: Strom Peterson, Jaimie Jamison, Christabel Jamison.

UPDATE: According to Edmonds Police Detective Julie Govantes, at 1:46 p.m. Tuesday two witnesses reported they saw an older white male vandalizing the "I Can't Breathe" installation on Sixth Avenue North.

The witnesses provided police with the suspect’s vehicle license plate. Officers responded to the registered owner’s address in Edmonds to follow up on the investigation.

Charges will be filed with the prosecutor.

Original story

The artist who created the "I Can't Breathe" art installation has quickly repaired it after it was defaced by vandals.

Christabel Jamison and her father, Jaime Jamison, on Tuesday patched it up after the "t" in "Can't" was hit with black spray paint.

"They were actually trying to make it read 'I can breathe,' which I find pretty offensive," said Christable Jamison on Tuesday afternoon.

"I Can't Breathe" were the words spoken by Eric Garner in 2014 and, more recently, George Floyd. Both were killed by police.

Maria A. Montalvo

The vandalized artwork.

Rep. Strom Peterson (D-Edmonds) was among those who helped repair the artwork, which is composed of individual pieces of privacy tape made for chain-link fences.

The Jamisons, Peterson, and others fixed it by flipping over the individual pieces woven into the fence, which is located on the fence of Sixth Avenue North across from the Edmonds Police Department.

The "On the Fence" temporary art installation is sponsored by the Edmonds Arts Commission.

Christabel Jamison is an 18-year-old student who just graduated from Edmonds-Woodway High School.

"I've heard some people were upset by the installation," the artist said. "I was shocked that someone would actually take it that far to vandalize it."


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