The city said it will not be removing the portrait of Assata Shakur from the mural.
The National Police Association wants Palo Alto, CA, to remove a painting of Assata Shakur that is a part of a Black Lives Matter mural.
In a report from KRON4, the association is petitioning for the city to remove Shakur because she was convicted of killing a police officer during a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike in 1973. The mural resides in front of Palo Alto City Hall, and includes a portrait of Shakur in the letter “E” from “Matter.”
However, the city said it is not removing the activist from the mural.
“The Black Lives Matter mural is one aspect of a larger City dialogue taking place on race and equity and connects to the City’s thoughtful conversations on the role of policing,” Palo Alto city spokeswoman Meghan Taylor said in a statement. “The mural is temporary, and the City has no plans to expedite the removal of the mural sooner than currently planned. In no way does the mural take away from the value we have in our police officers who serve our community every day. Temporary art is a means of expression on difficult issues and the Black Lives Matter mural is thought-provoking and is inspiring conversation.”
Adrian Fine, the city’s mayor, also addressed the backlash the portrait has received.
“I got hundreds of calls over the past week calling it idiotic and cruel,” he said, according to NBC Bay Area, before adding that he believes the mural should stay, saying: “as far as I’m concerned, absolutely.”