Pro-police activists painted a mural on the street outside the Tampa Police Department headquarters in Tampa, Fla. over the weekend in support of law enforcement.
Drone footage shared by FOX 13 Tampa Bay showed the view looking down on the street mural.
‘BACK THE BLUE’ MURAL: Volunteers painted a mural in front of Tampa Police Department headquarters over the weekend so officers could be greeted this morning with a message of support. STORY: https://t.co/dnOQSJ4Tc6 pic.twitter.com/hiJqTCWrUG
— FOX 13 Tampa Bay (@FOX13News) August 3, 2020
The mural, painted on Madison Street outside the headquarters of the Tampa Police Department, features a block-long “BACK THE BLUE” message, painted in the style of a pro-police “Thin Blue Line” flag. The image of blue police ribbon replaced the A in “BACK.”
“Take a look at part of the block long Back the Blue mural painted downtown on Madison St. next to the #Tampa Police Department. Video courtesy of a @WFLA photojournalist,” WFLA reporter Justin Schecker tweeted Monday.
Take a look at part of the block long Back the Blue mural painted downtown on Madison St. next to the #Tampa Police Department. Video courtesy of a @WFLA photojournalist. https://t.co/a6b73fxHWE pic.twitter.com/rsmBxEknTf
— Justin Schecker (@WFLAJustin) August 2, 2020
WFLA reported the pro-police activists, organized by a group called Back the Blue Florida, did not complete the permit process to approve the street painting.
Fox 13 later reported the pro-police group’s claims they did receive verbal approval from Tampa Mayor Jane Castor’s office, but that the activist group had started painting before an official permit was approved.
“Any tribute to honor their service is welcome,” said Castor, who previously served as the city’s police chief. “It’s unfortunate they didn’t see the permitting process through so that our community could participate in showing their appreciation for the brave men and women that service our residents every day.”
The street painting comes after several “BLACK LIVES MATTER” murals have been painted on the streets of cities throughout the country, amid ongoing demonstrations against police brutality and perceived racial bias in policing. One such “BLACK LIVES MATTER” mural was painted on the New York City street in front of Trump Tower.
Kelli Campbell, who helped organize the pro-police mural said the mural was organized to promote support for police.
“We want to make sure that they know just because we aren’t the loudest, doesn’t mean we aren’t there and in numbers,” Campbell said. “There’s a huge force. Our Back the Blue Florida group has 5,000 members in it, and that’s just a piece of the puzzle, of course. “