Officers Sue City in Silicon Valley Over Black Lives Matter Mural Featuring Assata Shakur
Five officers banded together to issue out a lawsuit against a Black Lives Matter mural that features the image of Assata Shakur.
The officers sued the city the Silicon Valley city of Palo Alto over a Black Lives Matter mural they feel promotes anti-police images that constitute harassment and discrimination against law enforcement, KTLA reports. The mural was painted last June following the murder of George Floyd by former cop Derek Chauvin.
The mural was supposed to stay on display for at least one year after its painting. However, it was gone by November, The Daily Post in Palo Alto reports. Within the mural lied an image of Joanne Chesimard, otherwise known by her Black Panther name Assata Shakur.
Back in 1973, Shakur was convicted of killing a New Jersey state trooper. While incarcerated, Shakur successfully escaped prison and fled to Cuba. She hasn’t been seen since.
In the lawsuit, filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court last month, the officers made mention of Shakur’s case and blasted the mural for depicting a logo of the New Black Panthers, a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group that has encouraged violence against white and Jewish people and law enforcement.
“Law enforcement officers, including Plaintiffs, were forced to physically pass and confront the Mural and its offensive, discriminatory, and harassing iconography every time they entered the Palo Alto Police Department,” the lawsuit says, as noted by Fox News.
The officers involved in the suit said the 245-foot mural violated the state Fair Employment and Housing Act, but the city “ratified the conduct and insisted that it remain and persist,” the lawsuit says.
The National Police Association has previously spoken out against the mural back in July 2020 saying it was an “atrocity” to celebrate a fugitive convicted cop killer in front of City Hall, NBC News reports.
City Attorney Molly Stump said the city has not yet been served with the lawsuit.