NEW YORK (NBC4)- In response to New York City’s Black Lives Matter murals — done as nods to the growing nationwide anti-racism movement — two police advocacy groups are asking Mayor Bill de Blasio for their chance to make a statement of their own.
The groups want to paint the words “Blue Lives Matter” on the street next to 1 Police Plaza in Lower Manhattan, a refrain used by those in the law enforcement community calling attention to the dangers police officers face each day on the job. They also suggested using the area at Broadway and West 45th Street in midtown as an alternative location.
Those groups, Blue Lives Matter NYC and Standing Up for NYC, wrote a letter to de Blasio, saluting him for supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and his attempts to bring awareness to systemic racism, while also hoping they can get a tribute of their own.
“As you may know, as of today, over 30 Police Officers have been killed in line of duty by firearms this year alone,” the statement from the groups read. “We would like to raise awareness regarding preventable murders of those who swore an oath to serve and protect their communities, and honor the lives and memory of public servants whose heroic lives ended too soon.”
The mural would be paid for by the groups themselves, according to the statement, and they said they were counting on de Blasio’s “unbiased support” for the proposed project.
City Hall said it was reviewing the request. Some said it would perceived as a challenge to the Black Lives Matter, while proponents on the other side believe that current murals are anti-police.
The call on the mayor comes just hours after he took time Wednesday to paint the city’s latest “Black Lives Matter” mural along Morris Avenue in the Bronx. The city-funded murals can be found in each borough, including the one painted on Fifth Avenue immediately in front of Trump Tower.
The groups’ request comes the same day that a New York State police union said they want all uniformed troopers pulled out from the city in response to the police reform laws passed by City Council and signed into law by Mayor de Blasio.
They believe that the language in the legislation regarding compression put on the chest or back of a suspect being arrested is too broad, and opens troopers up to civil or criminal charges. The union president said banning chokeholds was fine, but the new law goes much further than that and could make it nearly impossible for troopers to arrest violent offenders.