Detroit Artist Hired By City To Paint Mural —Dumb Racist Cops Arrested Him…

As a for­mer Law-Enforcement offi­cer I am more than pissed at the peo­ple who indulge and engage in lives of crime, then blame police offi­cers when they are arrest­ed for their crimes.
As a con­se­quence, I spend a lot of my time writ­ing about the rule of law and its impor­tance in free soci­eties.
But I am also equal­ly as con­cerned about the Police offi­cers who con­tin­ue to act con­trary to the laws and their oaths.
Policing is not about being com­mon bul­lies and punks when chal­lenged.
But we are wit­ness­ing case after case in which police in America are resort­ing to dan­ger­ous vio­lence, even when they are wrong on the rea­sons they approach cit­i­zens.

Whether we are talk­ing about my native Jamaica or the United States, igno­rance, racism and sheer stu­pid­i­ty by police offi­cers have been fea­tures and not bugs.
Far too many police offi­cers do not use com­mon sense in car­ry­ing out their duties but rather default to vio­lence than apply de-esca­la­tion strate­gies when in the wrong.
In instance, after instance, we see cas­es of American police using vio­lence against peo­ple of col­or in sit­u­a­tions in which they would absolute­ly not have done so had the sub­ject being white.
The Racism of American police offi­cers has been a sore issue for as long as America has had police depart­ments, par­tic­u­lar­ly as it relates to African-Americans.
The prob­lem has been mag­ni­fied expo­nen­tial­ly since the FBI warned that white Supremacists have been infil­trat­ing police depart­ments across America.
The ele­va­tion of Donald Trump to the Presidency has only served to embold­en Racism across America and the police depart­ments are cer­tain­ly not immune from that influ­ence.
When police dis­play bla­tant racism and stu­pid­i­ty and engage in lying, esca­lat­ing sim­ple sit­u­a­tions, cre­ate fraud­u­lent charges in order to crim­i­nal­ize inno­cent cit­i­zens those of us with a con­science are forced to speak out against it.
This is the racist idio­cy which occurred in the case below.

Sheefy McFly working on a mural in Detroit

Detroit artist Sheefy McFly has been mak­ing a name for him­self, so much so that the city recent­ly com­mis­sioned him to paint a series of murals hon­or­ing the Motor City as part of its City Walls ini­tia­tive. But on Wednesday, as McFly was work­ing on the piece, he was con­front­ed by Detroit police, who thought McFly was van­dal­iz­ing a viaduct. McFly — born Tashif Turner — tried to explain that he was hired by the city to do the mur­al. But since he didn’t have his city-issued per­mit in hand, police arrest­ed him, reports the Detroit Free Press. The artist was arrest­ed for resist­ing and obstruct­ing police, accord­ing to Detroit Police Department spokesper­son Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood. During the con­fronta­tion, McFly was also found to have a 10-year-old out­stand­ing traf­fic war­rant.
McFly spoke to the Free Press about the expe­ri­ence:

As McFly tried to explain the sit­u­a­tion to the police, he said more offi­cers arrived with “four or five police cars” on site. And even as a city offi­cial showed up to vouch for the artist and spoke with a DPD super­vi­sor, McFly said the sit­u­a­tion esca­lat­ed. …McFly said when he walked away to check his bag for his per­mit, offi­cers tried to detain him, with one of the offi­cers putting her hand on his neck.“They treat­ed me like a felon even though I was com­mis­sioned by the city to do this,” said McFly, who added that he felt “depressed” after being arrest­ed for the first time. “I felt threat­ened for my life,” said McFly. “I felt like if I real­ly didn’t keep my com­po­sure, they would’ve beat my (exple­tive).”

According to the Detroit Metro Times, McFly had already shown his paper­work once before to Detroit police, on the first day he began the mur­al. McFly end­ed up spend­ing a night in jail, where he says he slept on a mat on the floor of an unclean cell. “It felt like ani­mals in a cage,” he said. The city is chalk­ing up the arrest to a mis­com­mu­ni­ca­tion between city offi­cials and police. “When we’re doing murals, we have a police lieu­tenant we work with to make sure sur­round­ing precincts are aware that it’s a city-spon­sored pro­gram and the artists have per­mits,” said Brad Dick, who over­sees the City Walls pro­gram. “Unfortunately, some ran­dom offi­cers who weren’t asso­ci­at­ed with the near­by precincts drove by and saw him and thought it was an unau­tho­rized action. They stopped him and he didn’t have his per­mit with him.”

City Walls is intend­ed to be a deter­rent to van­dal­ism: The idea is that com­mis­sioned artists beau­ti­fy­ing Detroit with gov­ern­ment-approved art­work can help dri­ve down ille­gal graf­fi­ti. McFly, who is is also a musi­cian, was work­ing on his first mur­al of 10 con­tract­ed by the city. He’s one of 25 artists select­ed as part of the mul­ti-year project. The mur­al he was work­ing on before police arrest­ed him was “an homage to local pop cul­ture fea­tur­ing Cartier glass­es and a quote from the late Detroit rap­per Blade Icewood,” accord­ing to the Free Press. “It’s crazy to be paint­ing some­thing for the city and get arrest­ed for it,” McFly told radio sta­tion WWJ fol­low­ing the arrest. “If the police didn’t know me then, they know me now.”Police dropped the charges against McFly on Thursday, though he still has to appear in court on July 3 on the traf­fic charge.
Author Anne Branigin
This sto­ry appeared in the https://www.theroot.com/a‑detroit-artist-was-commissioned-by-the-city-to-paint-1835972906