NYC Mayor Helps in ‘Black Lives Matter’ Mural in Front of Trump Tower

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio joined a number of others to paint the words “Black Lives Matter” in yellow in front of Trump Tower on New York’s Fifth Avenue between 56th and 57th streets.

The city shut down a section of Fifth Avenue early Thursday for the mural, and de Blasio, along with wife Chirlane McCray, Reverend Al Sharpton, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), joined in painting a small part of the phrase.

The mural was otherwise painted by other volunteers and more than 20 local artists with the organization Street Corner Resources.

The New York City mayor announced his plans back in late June. Several days following the announcement, President Donald Trump criticized the move on Twitter, pointing out that de Blasio sought to “paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign” while the city council was deciding to pass a measure that would cut $1 billion from the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

Trump added that the move would be “denigrating this luxury Avenue” and would “further antagonize New York’s Finest.”

On Thursday, de Blasio said, “Let me tell you, we are not denigrating anything. We are liberating Fifth Avenue. So, when we say, ‘Black Lives Matter’, there is no more American statement, there is no more patriotic statement, because there is no America without Black America.”

De Blasio privately authorized the mural in June as part of several murals planned across the city, according to the New York Post. At the time, he also warned that 22,000 city employees could lose their jobs if the city doesn’t receive federal assistance from the Trump administration amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the outlet noted.

black lives matter mural
Black Lives Matter is painted on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, in New York, July 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Trump supporter Juliet Germanotta called the paint job “unfortunate,” reported the New York Daily News.

“The Black Lives Matter movement in general is a beautiful thing, but it has been taken over and held hostage by the far-left agenda who are trying to destroy our country,” she told the outlet.

Similar “Black Lives Matters” murals have been painted on other New York City streets and in U.S. cities including Washington, Raleigh in North Carolina, and Oakland in California.

Washington was the first U.S. city to see the “Black Lives Matter” mural painted near the White House, a move allowed by Mayor Muriel Bowser amid protests and riots that followed the death of George Floyd on May 25. Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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