D.C. Police are searching for the man who spray-painted the walls in front of a side entrance to the new Trump International Hotel in downtown Washington with political messages late Saturday afternoon.
The messages – “Black Lives Matter” and “No Justice” (and the word Peace with a line through it) were spray-painted in black. The word “Van” was spray-painted in red below Black Lives Matter.
A video of a man spray-painting the message spread on social media. In the video, the man can be seen spray-painting the Black Lives Matter message and then trotting down the hotel’s steps and walking across 12th Street, NW.
A picture of a police officer photographing the graffiti was also widely shared.
Police were called at 4:03 p.m. Saturday to investigate a report of destruction of private and public property, according to MPD spokeswoman Aquita Brown. She said police are looking for a male suspect. They are not releasing any other information at this time.
A spokeswoman for Trump International Hotel declined to comment. By Sunday afternoon, sheets of plywood had been placed in front of the messages and a security guard stood at the top of the steps.
The $212 million 263-room hotel, located on Pennsylvania Avenue just a few blocks from the White House, opened with much fanfare on Sept. 12. Rooms at the luxury hotel begin at $895 a night. During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump has often remarked that he will run the country the same way that he has run the building of this hotel: ahead of schedule and under budget.
At a March news conference in the hotel’s lobby, Trump said, “It’s a great thing for the country, it’s a great thing for Washington.”