Group seeks hate crime probe of Ali mural vandalism

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Muslim advocacy group wants Kentucky authorities to investigate vandalism on a mural of boxing champ Muhammad Ali as a possible hate crime.

The Kentucky chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations made the request in a news release Monday.

CAIR-Kentucky chair Waheedah Muhammad says “as Americans, we must continue to stand up and loudly say no to hatred and division.”

The words “racist,” ”antisemitic” and “homophobe” were painted in orange over Ali’s portion of the “Kentucky Rushmore” mural that features other icons from the state, including Abraham Lincoln. An employee at a nearby candy store first noticed the graffiti June 12.

The vandalism came days after Louisville celebrated Ali Week to honor the Kentucky native who died in 2016.

It’s unclear whether police have identified a suspect.

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