(USNewsMag.com) – As crime rates remain high in the Nation’s Capitol, the Washington, D.C., government has decided to spend hundreds of thousands on touching up a “Black Lives Matter” street mural instead of allocating funds toward law and order.
The mural was initially commissioned by Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser and the city in June 2020, shortly after the death of George Floyd and in the midst of widespread BLM protests throughout the city and the country. According to documents procured by the Judicial Watch branch of the Transportation Department, the project to refurbish the mural cost taxpayers a total of $271,231, of which $217,680 went toward labor costs and $53,551 for paint and other art supplies.
Tom Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch, wrote a statement about the project, noting that crime in the city “is out of control” while “local leaders… waste $270,000” of taxpayer funds to promote Black Lives Matter, which he described as an “extremist” movement. Fitton also called the BLM movement “racist, anti-police,” and “anti-American.” He also said supporters of the movement are “often violent.”
On Nov. 8, a vendor in D.C. called Equus Striping posted videos on social media portraying its team working on the mural by “prepping the surface” of the road. The next day, they posted the finished mural after restorations. The vendor wrote in a statement that they are proud of their crew “as a black and women-owned” business.
Critics of the mural project believe it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars while more pressing issues should be addressed, particularly the spike in crime rates over the last few years after the city slashed the budget for law enforcement in 2020 in response to the BLM protests and riots. Since the cuts, Washington, D.C., has lost over 400 police officers over the last three years.
The city council remains torn on how to address the crime wave and has been at odds with Congress over what proposals to implement to keep civilians and lawmakers safe.
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