The message is simple – support the men and women who protect and serve.

But what happened on Wednesday is a bit more complicated.

What You Need To Know

  • A group of people painted "Back the Blue" on a street outside Tampa PD.

  • Two other groups defaced the mural.

  • The city says everyone involved was in the wrong.

First, a group of people painted “Back the Blue” on the E. Madison Street, outside the Tampa Police Department.

“It took us about 6 hours, and were just happy to support our law enforcement,” Scott Courtney told Spectrum Bay News 9. He helped paint the mural.

Then, two other groups vandalized it with tar and red paint -- and spray-painted graffiti on the police headquarters’ front door.

“They were out here for hours and for them, whoever, to come out here and deface this like this – it’s a disgrace,” Patti Hebard said. She’s friends with the people behind the mural.

A spokesperson for the city of Tampa said everyone involved was in the wrong.

The people who painted ‘Back the Blue’ didn’t have a permit, and they blocked the street for hours to turn the street into a pro-police mural.

The department is also trying to find out who defaced it.

Bay News 9 reached out to the state attorney to find out if charges will be filed. So far, we have not received a response.

This is a developing story and will be updated.