Have the City of Tampa remove the “Bock the Blub” (Back The Blue) Mural Illegally Painted

Have the City of Tampa remove the “Bock the Blub” (Back The Blue) Mural Illegally Painted

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Victoria Zamitalo started this petition to Mayor Jane Castor and

On Saturday, August 1st, a group of citizens from Tampa, FL illegally blocked roads outside of the Tampa Police Department and painted a “Blue Lives Matter” mural on the street. It is the first (and only) of its kind in the country. This mural was not approved by the City of Tampa when it was painted and these citizens were illegally blocking the flow of traffic in a major city, two very illegal things. The woman leading this act of vandalism, Kristen Krutz, claims to have been “in the process” of obtaining a permit from the city, but painted the mural before the city approved the project. 

It is for this reason that citizens of Tampa, Tampa Bay, and beyond are demanding that the City of Tampa has this mural removed, regardless of if it would have been approved or not. This was an act of vandalism (defined in Florida law as “the willful and malicious destruction of property belonging to another person”) as it was deliberate, and malicious in its targeting of the Black Lives Matter protests that have been going on in the city for weeks (originally, Kurtz had asked the city to paint “Blue Lives Matter” in place of “Back The Blue”). Further, “It is unlawful for any person or persons willfully to obstruct the free, convenient, and normal use of any public street, highway, or road by impeding, hindering, stifling, retarding, or restraining traffic or passage thereon, by standing or approaching motor vehicles thereon, or by endangering the safe movement of vehicles or pedestrians traveling thereon; and any person or persons who violate the provisions of this subsection, upon conviction, shall be cited for a pedestrian violation, punishable as provided in chapter 318”, per the Florida Senate. 

There were multiple crimes committed, and the Tampa Police, as well as the Tampa Mayor’s Office, allowed it to happen unbothered. When comparing this event to the actions of the Tampa Police Department throughout the course of Black Lives Matter protests in Tampa, the people demand not that more citizens are punished, but that the mural is removed. Black Lives Matter murals around both Tampa Bay and the US have been painted legally and have still faced vandalism, molestation by police, and more. When an openly racist slogan is painted illegally in the streets of a city stricken by police brutality, it should be destroyed. 

For more information on the mural, click the link from the Tampa Bay Times below: 

https://www.tampabay.com/news/tampa/2020/08/03/theres-a-back-the-blue-mural-at-police-headquarters-but-tampa-didnt-ok-it/?outputType=amp

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