This afternoon, we'll introduce you to Marcus Davis, a well-known Houston restaurateur and early supporter of Barack Obama who is now fighting to protect his business and his freedom of speech.
Painted on the side of the popular chicken-and-waffles joint in Houston, The Breakfast Klub, is a mural of the president—actually, now several versions of a mural of the president.
Artist Reginald Adams painted the original mural in October 2008, basing it on the iconic "Hope" campaign poster.
The original was first vandalized with simple graffiti in March 2010; restored and vandalized with red, white, blue paint in November 2010; restored and vandalized with paint again, this time just red, in October 2012.
At that point, a new mural was painted—this one adapted from a well-known photo of the incumbent Commander-in-Chief above an Obama 2012 logo. The president, of course, went on to win re-election the very next month. Davis also debuted a surveillance camera on the mural to catch any would-be vandals.
New mural. New target.
In January, a vandal or vandals struck again, this time using two big cans of paint - black and yellow - splattered across the wall.
Marcus Davis was resolute. Earlier this month, he commissioned an ever bigger Adams mural—this one based on a classic political moment, Obama kissing a baby girl atop a Stars and Stripes wallpaper.
This Monday, President's Day, the Houston Police Department responded to a call at The Breakfast Klub. Marcus Davis had confronted and collared someone he believed—based on surveillance of the previous incident, the behavior of the person and, he says, a can of paint recovered—was about to strike the mural again.
A police spokesman for the department confirmed that officers arrived, everyone at the scene was interviewed, and the Harris County District Attorney's Office was contacted but declined to press charges as no vandalization had occurred.
Adding a twist to the story, Davis has fielded questions on the controversy—which involves his property and First Amendment rights—holding a weapon.
"I'm also a Texan," Davis said when asked whether the gun he had slung on his back in Houston Chronicle photos was a real gun or a pellet gun. Davis said it was an AR-15 he is licensed to carry.
So would he use the gun? He certainly seems unyielding.
See the interview below for his response.
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