About two weeks ago, artists from the Sage Coalition in Trenton, New Jersey, sought and obtained permission from the Trenton Downtown Association to paint a mural on the metal shutters of a vacant storefront. They decided to paint a large portrait of Michael Brown and the text, “Sagging pants…is not probable cause.” The artists saw it as relevant to both the memory of Brown and his killing in Ferguson, Missouri, and to their own experience with racial profiling at the hands of the police in Trenton.
Yesterday, according to NJ.com, “The Trenton Downtown Association elected to remove the image after hearing concern from police officers that the mural sends a negative message about the relationship between police and the community.” TDA director Christian Martin “said police said the painting did not promote peace in the community.”
The image was buffed by a municipal graffiti blasting crew yesterday. Sage collaborator Byron Marshall shot and narrated the scene.
David Hammons, How Ya Like Me Now?, reinstalled inside at WPA, 1988
The situation feels like an inversion of the destruction of How Ya Like Me Now?, a 1988 billboard-sized painting by David Hammons of a blonde, blue-eyed Jesse Jackson, which was momentarily installed across the street from the National Portrait Gallery in DC. It was almost immediately set upon by sledgehammer-wielding locals who did not care for its negative message.
‘Sagging Pants is Not Probable Cause’ Mural Removed After Concerns From Trenton Police [nj.com]
Previously: How Ya Like How Ya Like Me Now?