NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Controversy in Northampton after a mural of George Floyd was put up on the City Hall doors Tuesday and then removed the next day.
The mural was put up on the doors on the anniversary of George Floyd’s death by Northampton Abolition but the mayor said it had to be taken down.
The mayor said he supports the organizations right to hold the event on the steps of City Hall but said the mural posed two challenges. The first being that it blocked access from that door, which is a safety hazard. The second was that because it was pasted on the door, it would have been a permanent fixture to the building and that would require a permit.
“That is something we would not let any group to do. This is about allowing all groups to have free speech in front of City Hall. If any one or many of those groups were then allowed to you know glue things permanently onto the front of the building that would be challenging.”
PHOTOS: George Floyd Memorial Before & After
In a statement to 22News, Northampton Abolition now said in part, “We are disheartened that the city of Northampton would take this mural down less than one day after the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, and see this action as a reflection of the misguided priorities of Mayor Narkewicz. It was our understanding that these doors to City Hall were not in regular use and posed no accessibility issues to anyone trying to enter the building.”
A 19-year-old man from Florence was arrested after officers observed the suspect spray paint City Hall. He is charged with vandalism and resisting arrest.