Two pro-police groups are suing New York Mayor Bill de Blasio after the mayor denied a Blue Lives Matter mural request, according to a lawsuit filed Monday.
Blue Lives Matter NYC and Standing Up for NYC have accused de Blasio and Department of Transportation Commissioner Polly Trottenberg of violating First Amendment rights by allowing “city property to be used by private speakers” but not permitting a similar mural supporting cops, the New York Post reported.
“The ‘Black Lives Matter’ message is highly political and is generally understood by the public to be and support a general anti-police message, include some extreme measures as defunding the police and ending police activity,” read the suit, filed in the Southern District of New York.
The groups had asked de Blasio on July 15 for permission to use their own funds and resources to paint a “Blue Lives Matter” mural near New York City Police Department headquarters at 1 Police Plaza similar to the “Black Lives Matter” mural on 5th Avenue.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) July 10, 2020
They applauded de Blasio’s support of the Black Lives Matter mural before requesting their own.
“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 letter read.
“We count on your unbiased support.”
We have respectfully requested permission to Mayor @BilldeBlasio to bring awareness to the daily physical & verbal abuse officers endure daily & the many officers killed yearly.#bluelivesnatter @JoeBorelliNYC @realDonaldTrump @VP @FoxFriendsFirst @ffweekend @ImperatriceV pic.twitter.com/6cHIJNvOiv
— Blue Lives Matter NY (@BlueLivesNYC) July 15, 2020
The groups also suggested an alternate location for the mural on Broadway at West 45th Street.
“This is about something much bigger than any one group,” the Democratic mayor said.
“This is about righting a wrong and moving forward. So I think that’s the right approach.”
“I think we have had a seismic moment in this country’s history,” he added.
“The original sin of the United States of America — slavery, and all of the effects over 400 years being brought out into the open in a new way and a chance for this country to get it right to address this problem to move forward and it’s summarized in the three words: Black Lives Matter.”
De Blasio previously announced that Black Lives Matter murals would be painted in each borough in response to the protests that were sparked by the death of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis after a police officer knelt on his neck for roughly nine minutes during an arrest.
Blue Lives Matter NYC founder Sgt. Joe Imperatrice told the Post that his group wanted “to be granted the same privilege to bring to light a cause that we so believe in would change the trajectory of equality for all those with the same interest.
“Certain politicians have gotten away from equality and fairness for all and have given the privilege to certain groups,” Imperatrice said.
Jason Cohen and Tatiana Davidoff, co-founders of Standing Up for NYC, added that the mural would honor cops and boost morale.
“This mural is the smallest thing we could do to show our respect for them during these controversial times,” Davidoff said.
A conservative women’s group also recently sued the city for denying its request to main a mural of its slogan “Engaging, Inspiring and Empowering Women to Make a Difference!” SI Live reported.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.