Brown charged in Derry mural destruction

The mural soon after it was finished.
All photos by Bruce Frauman unless otherwise noted.

© 2017 Telegraph Publishing LLC

Vermont State Police today arrested Ed Brown and cited him with unlawful mischief for painting over a mural on a retaining wall on Route 11 near Route 100 at the turn to Weston.

Police say that on the afternoon of Sept. 11 they received a complaint of vandalism of the mural. The Telegraph   reported that the mural was painted several years ago on a wall owned by the State of Vermont. The painting was designed by elementary students from the Flood Brook School and – for safety’s sake – painted by local artist Garrison Buxton.

The Telegraph has reported that Brown admitted to painting over the mural, which he considered to be in poor shape. His actions caused a community uproar. Brown could not be reached for comment.

The wall after Brown painted it.

After investigating the incident, police issued Brown a citation to appear in the Criminal Division Vermont Superior Court for Windham County at 8 a.m., Tuesday, Nov. 7 for arraignment.

According to statute, the charge of unlawful mischief involves “A person who, with intent to damage property, and having no right to do so or any reasonable ground to believe that he or she has such a right, does any damage to any property.”

The charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property damaged. Property damage of less than $250 is punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of no more than $500. Damage of over $250 but less than $1,000 is up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Damage over $1,000 can result in a sentence of up to five years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.

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  1. Maya Drummond says:

    I like Ed Brown very much, but what he did was wrong. No matter how he, or anyone else, felt about the children’s mural, it was not his right to paint over it. If everyone ignores democratic process, and just does whatever they want to, we will have anarchy. Some people liked the mural, and some people didn’t – but that is completely beside the point. The point is that we need to respect our laws, and respect our democratic process, understanding that patience and compromise are required.

  2. Joe Checco says:

    Ed Brown should be sentenced to 15 days in a fine hotel in New York City where he can decompress and learn to appreciate the nuance of graffiti.

  3. Kevin O'Hagen says:

    Fergus Smith obviously doesn’t appreciate the mural that was destroyed, but he shouldn’t mischaracterize it as graffiti for dramatic effect. For something to be graffiti, it has to be illicit, and this artwork was approved by VTrans. And the property that was damaged was the mural, which Ed Brown said he had the intent to destroy.

  4. Barre Pinske says:

    This is stupid. Why can’t we handle things as adults? I felt the issue was over. The mural was in bad shape because of the deteriorating wall. It’s hard to have murals last on concrete. It’s a live type of material that is better left to breathe. So sealing up with paint is really like having a piece of tape stuck to it it will not stick for ever and it does not let the wall breathe. Now that does not mitigate Ed’s actions no but he has explained himself and apologized.

    Why do this? Can’t anyone make a mistake and have it resolved with in a community? This is an embarrassing use of law and a total waste of time. I hope the case is tossed out. If I have time I will go and speak on his behalf. You are talking about a guy who saw something akin to dead flowers and decided to remove them. Should he have asked? Yes, but is it a crime worth a trip to court? No way. People in other parts of the world have real problems this is embarrassing.

  5. Donna Hill says:

    Fergus Smith I disagree with your comment. According to Ed Brown himself, he had intent to cover what he considered an eyesore across the street from his establishment. Art of any type should not be considered an eyesore. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If you do not like it, then don’t look.

    I have driven down Route 100/11 plenty of times without that mural distracting me in any way. If Ed wanted to cover the peeling paint he should have gone through the proper channels to address the issue. However he took it upon himself to paint the mural with total disregard to the parties affected including the Town of Londonderry, VTrans, the artist and the children who designed it, as well as the population of Londonderry. I hope the law will prevail and he is hit with the biggest fine possible to ensure Mr. Brown thinks before he acts the next time.

  6. FERGUS SMITH says:

    This is absurd. Ed Brown had no “intent to damage property” and the peeling, psychedelic graffiti was an eyesore of NEGATIVE value.

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