Mural Dedicated To Black Men Killed By Police Painted Over In Oak Park

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — People living in the Oak Park neighborhood are concerned after a mural created to honor black men killed by police was painted over.

The artwork was taken down by owners who say they thought it was vandalism left on the side of their building.

Oak Park resident James Colbert is one of the many people who admired and supported the short-lived mural at the Guild Theater. It was created to pay tribute to seven black men killed by police.

“I think that’s it important that we remember those types of people. That we just don’t forget about them and move on with the next news cycle so, it’s nice to have that stuff up just to commemorate,” he said.

The mural was taken down by the property owner, just as fast as it went up. The unsigned artwork may have been mistaken for vandalism.

“It sounds like a sad accident to me, you know, I’m pretty sure if the owner knew what it was actually about, they may have been a little bit more receptive to keeping that artwork up on the wall,” he said.

Leaders with the company contracted to remove the mural say the artist did not have permission from the theater to create the mirror on the building. Owners wanted it gone.

“It looked nice, but they wanted it removed. I guess there is a time and a place for everything so, according to them it wasn’t the place,” said George Erskin of Cyclone Eco Cleaning.

Activists with Black Lives Matter Sacramento say the mural should not have been removed because it was a memorial. People who live in the neighborhood say no matter the reason, there should be an open dialogue about issues impacting the community.

“I think you need to abide by the law so if it’s someone’s property, maybe you should ask them first, but at the same time, public art is a huge part of any culture and community, and art is a safe way to get very scary, angry, sad feelings out in a way where you feel heard,” said Laura Laughlin, lives in Oak Park.

Black Lives Matter Sacramento is planning a Nov. 18 rally.

More from Carlos Correa
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