Nationwide protests against police brutality began last week following the death of George Floyd

By Ally Mauch
June 02, 2020 01:24 PM
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Christopher Polk/Getty; Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP

As protests against police brutality continue in Los Angeles and across the country, Vanessa Bryant is expressing her gratitude that murals of her late husband, Kobe Bryant, and their daughter Gianna have remained largely untouched.

Vanessa, 38, posted a series of photos to her Instagram Story Monday evening showing a variety of murals that feature Kobe, who died alongside Gianna and seven others in a tragic helicopter crash in January.

“Kobe and Gigi ❤️ mural saved ❤️ L.A. ❤️” she wrote on one of the photos, referencing Gianna’s nickname.

“Untouched Kobe mural ❤️” Vanessa captioned another.

Kobe Bryant and Vanessa Bryant
Kobe Bryant/Instagram

She shared about 15 total pictures of murals, all intact, and accompanied most of the posts with heart emojis and short messages.

The current protests began last week following the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died after a police officer knelt on his neck in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Amid the unrest, Vanessa recalled a time when Kobe sent a powerful message about police brutality in an Instagram post Sunday.

She shared a photo of Kobe wearing a black shirt that reads, "I can't breathe" — a line that Floyd had uttered when he was being pinned down while being arrested before he died on May 25.

Kobe’s shirt, from 2014, referred to the death of another black man, Eric Garner, who was killed by police in New York after an officer placed his arm around Garner's neck, during which he said, "I can't breathe."

"My husband wore this shirt years ago and yet here we are again.💔 #ICANTBREATHE," the mother of four wrote. "Life is so fragile. Life is so unpredictable. Life is too short. Let’s share and embrace the beautiful qualities and similarities we all share as people."

"Drive out hate," Vanessa said. "Teach respect and love for all at home and school. Spread LOVE. Fight for change- register to VOTE. Do not use innocent lives lost as an excuse to loot. BE AN EXAMPLE OF THE CHANGE WE WANT TO SEE. #BLACKLIVESMATTER ❤️."

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

  • Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
  • ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
  • National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.