After the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Daniel Pease of California worried about the future of his mixed-race 4-year-old son.
“We’re running out of time and I don’t want my child growing up the same way we did,” Pease said, according to The San Mateo Daily Times.
So he asked Redwood City for permission to paint a temporary “Black Lives Matter” street mural near Courthouse Square during a Fourth of July art celebration, KPIX reported. Not only did the city authorize the mural, it even supplied him with yellow poster paint.
But city crews power-washed the 17-foot mural away on Thursday, despite plans to let the temporary paint fade away over time, according to the station.
The city erased the mural after attorney Maria Rutenberg requested permission to paint a “MAGA 2020” mural nearby, Climate Online Redwood City reported.
Rutenberg said she “saw that Courthouse Square was being used as a public forum, and, as a Redwood City resident, wanted to participate,” according to the publication.
Then city officials notified Pease they planned to remove his mural for violating traffic and vehicle codes, Climate Online Redwood City reported.
“I’m not upset the piece is being taken down because it’s just words on the street,” Pease said, The San Mateo Daily Times. “It doesn’t represent real change.”
But he said he was “upset and frustrated” that anyone would feel “Black Lives Matter” requires a counterpoint, according to the publication.
“They’re afraid, you know? And that’s the whole movement — is we’ve been afraid to do what’s right,” said resident Art Elola, KPIX reported. “The whole crux of the movement is be bold and let’s do the right thing and here they’re setting an example and it’s unfortunate. It’s unfortunate other people put the pressure on them, too.”
Similar street murals have been painted across the United States after protests following Floyd’s death, in which four police officers have been fired and charged. A mural in front of Trump Tower in New York City has been defaced at least three times in one week with paint, CNN reported.
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