DC Mayor Orders Removal of 'Defund The Police' Mural

Posted: Aug 12, 2020 4:00 PM
DC Mayor Orders Removal of 'Defund The Police' Mural

Source: (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Construction crews have paved over the "Defund The Police" mural at Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington D.C., on orders of Mayor Muriel Bowser.

On June 5, Bowser unveiled the newly named plaza and the "Black Lives Matter" slogan painted on 16th Street. A day later protesters added "= DEFUND THE POLICE" next to the artwork, conjoining the two movements as one.

The Daily Caller reported that one of their employees had seen construction crews repaving the slogan on Tuesday afternoon. The equal sign had already been repainted as the D.C. flag. 

In the past, Bowser dodged questions about whether or not she'd taken action to remove the mural. She has yet to comment on the decision to pave over the phrase. 

Some are questioning the timing of the removal of "Defund The Police" from BLM Plaza yesterday afternoon, the same day Joe Biden announced Kamala Harris as his VP pick, a woman with a questionable record when it comes to criminal justice.   

Harris spent years as a prosecutor, with a bad track record of putting people in jail for misdemeanor charges. Former Presidential candidate and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) attacked Harris at a debate last summer, stating that the California Senator had put over "1500 people in jail for marijuana violations and then laughed about when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana." 

The Democratic VP candidate also fiercely advocated against a California judge's ruling that called the death penalty unconstitutional when she was attorney general. The move has earned her criticism among progressives trying to radically reform the criminal justice system because had she not appealed, the death penalty could have been eliminated from the state. 

Not only do Democrats have to worry about the negative publicity regarding Harris's track record on policing, but they also can't hide the fact Biden helped author Clinton's 1994 crime bill that critics say severely hurt black communities. 

Bowser's intentions for ordering the removal of the mural painted by vandals in June were not immediately clear. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio usurped city protocol in order to paint "Black Lives Matter" murals in all five boroughs. Anyone else who wanted to paint a public mural, he said, would have to go through the arbitrary city approval process or risk being cited for vandalism. 

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Bowser faced a lawsuit in June for her decision to have "Black Lives Matter" painted in giant yellow letters leading up to the White House. A D.C. pastor claimed that the messaging was pro-communist and was tantamount to the promotion of a cult. The suit demanded that other messages including "Blue Lives Matter," "Green Lives Matter," and "All Lives Matter" should also be added to the city streets. Blue and Green stand for police and the national guard, respectively. 

The cost to taxpayers for painting the mural and then paving over the activist-painted addendum was not immediately known.