FLORENCE, Ala -- Billboards are used to send messages to viewers and can be seen from a far distance. These messages can often relay positive remarks, deals or pictures. One billboard off Florence Boulevard says otherwise.
The large outdoor advertising structure, across the Memorial Grove, was vandalized with a spray-painted image depicting President Donald Trump over the holiday weekend. Beside the cartoon portrayal, an explicit message in Spanish can be read criticizing the U.S. leader's golden locks and "D.A.C.A. ILLEGALS."
The mayor's office has contacted Lamar Advertising, the billboard operator, to have it taken down. The billboard was taken down at the request of city hall on Tuesday.
Tuesday morning, investigators collected spray paint lids and a receipt from Walmart near the billboard. Possible clues as to who is painting up the city.
“When you see graffiti up everywhere, you kind of think of a trashy area. No matter how pretty or how artistic the work is, you still think of it in a negative light,” stated Sgt. Greg Cobb with Florence Police.
Investigators are going over surveillance cameras from where the paint was purchased to help identify a suspect or suspects.
The business who was using the billboard to advertise didn’t want to talk on camera due to the fear of retaliation against them.
This act of vandalism comes one month after a mural, depicting President Trump shooting a handgun at children, was sprayed right down the road in downtown Florence.
We will update this story as we gather more information.