A controversial George Floyd mural in Phoenix has been painted over.
The mural depicted Floyd’s face on a $ 20 note, with the hashtag ‘#the_price_of_black_lives’ above his head.
The $ 20 bill related to the fake bill allegedly used by Floyd on May 25, 2020, prior to his arrest and death by police officer Derek Chauvin, who was recently convicted of Floyd’s murder.
But the mural caused outrage among some in the community and was recently defaced, prompting the mural to be removed from downtown Phoenix on Friday morning.
The George Floyd mural painted in Phoenix is no longer there after it was painted on Friday
Artist Jeremie ‘Bacpac’ Franko painted the mural in Phoenix last year to spark conversation
Phoenix artist Jeremie ‘Bacpac’ Franko, who painted the mural on an Oak Street block wall, covered it with beige paint.
“I have to do what white people cannot do very well and that is give up the platform,” Franko said to the Arizona Republic.
The defeat came after some community activists disapproved of the mural due to its traumatizing abilities and lack of input from black community members.
“This is a mural designed by white people that celebrates white violence,” said resident Kelvin West. “It creates space for black people to remain further traumatized.”
The artist has seen her work defaced and criticized by black members of the community
Pictured: Kelvin West, one of the community members who spoke out against the mural
‘The mural came out of nowhere, no black person was involved in creating, assembling or designing this mural,’ West added. ‘The mural came out of nowhere, no black person was involved in creating, compiling or designing this mural.’
Franko’s intention to paint the mural was the start of a conversation in the city.
“Every time I paint a mural, I want to start a conversation,” Franko said. ‘I want people to say what does that mean?
“This is about the story we don’t hear, that these officers thought this man deserved to be murdered because of an alleged counterfeit $ 20 bill. This man didn’t hurt anyone. ‘
Of her particular mural, Franko added, “To me, it was the symbolism that is the price of a black life?”
“I have to do what white people cannot do very well and that is give up the platform,” Franko said after removing the mural.
Franko took 13 hours to paint the mural last June, which she did for free. But on March 29, the mural was made illegible.
Vandals placed a cross over Floyd’s eyes and mouth and scribbled ‘FENTANYL’ on his forehead, suggesting the drug was responsible for Floyd’s death and not Chauvin’s knee.
Franko spent four and a half hours repairing the mural the next morning, promising to fix it every time it was damaged.
‘Do you want to do it again? I’m here. I’m going to fix it, ”Franko told Phoenix New Times. ‘You must not hijack the message. You cannot take the credit of this man and his family. I’m going to fix it every time. ‘
However, rendering the mural harmless only created more problems for West and other members of the community.
“The mural has been made illegible, which means there is a chance of more black trauma,” said West.
After the mural was removed on Friday, some took to Twitter to celebrate its demise.
“Well, it should never have been there anyway,” Ronnie Norton wrote about the mural.
“Bad judgment of the painter,” added another user.
Whether the mural’s removal changes the conversation in the Coronado neighborhood, however, remains to be seen.
“If a black person who has lived in this neighborhood for more than five years fights racism almost daily, has made me depressed and needs to heal, this neighborhood is not a safe space for black people,” West told the Republic of Arizona.
Murals for George Floyd have been drawing unwanted attention lately, especially after Chauvin’s conviction nearly two weeks ago.
In Houston a few days after the conviction, a mural was defaced with the words ‘N **** lives don’t matter’.
‘As a human it is just wrong to do such a thing; knowing that we are healing and knowing that as a community we are in pain, ”artist Daniel Anguili said KHOU 11.