SPOKANE, Wash. - The President and Vice President of the Spokane NAACP have spoken out after a newly-completed Black Lives Mural in downtown Spokane was vandalized. 

"My first response was my stomach actually started hurting," Vice President Kiantha Duncan said. "I had a visceral reaction to reading the story and seeing the pictures."

President Kurtis Robinson said he had a similar reaction but said that the defacement of another mural in downtown Spokane earlier this month, set a disturbing precedent. 

"This is extremely scary," Duncan said. "When the words 'Black Lives Matter' is enough to upset people in a city so badly that they, not only protest against it, but that they destroy the very words on the side of a building."

Both Robinson and Duncan said that it's important for the mural to be repainted and they added that they believe the city of Spokane should also step in and help protect the mural and others like it. 

"Why don't we take care of these priceless works of art and treat them with the care, consideration and protection that they obviously deserve," Robinson said. "There is at least some very active and engaged racist portion of our community that will continue to make attempts to undermine and destroy any movement for any progress, let alone dismantling race and racism."

Duncan added that murals like the ones downtown should be protected at the same level as other art around Spokane, such as the Bloomsday runner sculptures.