De Blasio, Wife Help Paint Black Lives Matter Mural Outside Trump Tower

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 09, 2020 - 12:23 pm

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The city has started painting a Black Lives Matter mural on Fifth Avenue outside Trump Tower.

    Work on the mural began Thursday morning and will continue throughout the day. Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife stopped by to help crews paint the new mural.

    Listen Live Now on WCBS Newsradio 880

    The Department of Transportation arrived on Fifth Avenue, between 56th and 57th Streets, early Thursday morning ahead of the stenciling and painting.

    Last week, President Donald Trump called the planned mural a "symbol of hate."

    "NYC is cutting Police $’s by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue," Trump tweeted.

    Mayor de Blasio confirmed last week that the mural would be painted, which sparked the tweet from Trump.

    “It’s an important message to the whole nation, and obviously we want the president to hear it, because he’s never shown respect for those three words,” de Blasio said in an MSNBC interview. “When he hears Black Lives Matter, he presents a horrible, negative reality of something that doesn’t exist, and he misses the underlying meaning that we’re saying we have to honor the role of African Americans in our history and in our society.”

    Supporters say the mural sends a bold message to the president.

    "Awesome. Great. They should paint it on his forehead," one man said.

    "Sometimes we need to kick someone in the face in order for them to see what is in front of them," one woman said.

    "It can't be, we can't allow Black people to be murdered in the streets for things that as a white person I would get a ticket for," another woman said. "We have to make a change, we can't live like this anymore."

    This is a highly charged issue and passions are running high on both sides. Some cast disapproving looks as they passed by the painting of the mural.

    "Legalized graffiti by de Blasio, that's what it's all about — legalized graffiti and a lot of politics. Too many people are afraid to say the truth. A shame to the president right in front of his place," one man said. "It's an insult to our president."

    A three-block stretch of Centre Street in lower Manhattan was also to be officially co-named Black Lives Matter Boulevard on Thursday morning.

    In Brooklyn, two streets have already been painted with "Black Lives Matter" murals near Borough Hall and in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

    Black Lives Matter mural
    Kristie Keleshian/WCBS 880

    Stay informed, stay connected — follow WCBS 880 on Facebook and TwitterDownload the RADIO.COM app + favorite WCBS 880 for breaking news, traffic and weather alerts.