Police Sued Because They Said Looking At A Mural Was "Harassment"

person with a paint brush in hand over open paint buckets
Zain Murdock
June 30, 2022

Palo Alto, California’s Black Lives Matter mural was washed off only a couple of months after the city commissioned the painting outside City Hall in June 2020. But even in its absence, five California police officers tried SUING the city – simply because they had to see it.

The officers claimed they were “forced to physically pass and confront the mural” when they went to work. It was “offensive, discriminatory and harassing iconography.” Why? Because activist – and FBI’s Most Wanted – Assata Shakur was depicted proudly in it.

Their judge disagreed – and dismissed their case! 

“Assata Shakur has always maintained her innocence. There was no way, she was never going to get a fair trial,” said Cece Caprio, who painted Shakur. “Her work, and who she is, has always been centered around a love of her people.”

And today, Black people STILL get sent to prison without receiving fair trials. And over 94% of convicted people get trapped with exploitative plea bargain deals and never go to trial at all.

Carpio may not have schemed for police to be outraged by her mural, but her work clearly riled them up! When we evoke Black liberation figures in our day-to-day life, they see it as a threat. Their biggest fear is us being inspired to take that same radical passion and defeat them once and for all.

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