By ABBY CRUZ, ABC NEWS
(WASHINGTON) — Muriel E. Bowser on Friday renamed a street outside the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza” after ordering city crews to paint the message in gigantic yellow letters down 16th Street.
A major street in the heart of Washington, D.C, leading to the White House, has been painted with big, bold, bright-yellow letters reading “Black Lives Matter” in an unmistakeable message to President Donald Trump.
D.C. Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser also has ordered the stretch of 16th Street NW between H and K streets renamed “Black Lives Matter PLZ,” she told reporters at a press conference on Friday.
A new sign bearing the plaza’s name has been put up at 16th and H streets.
The giant letters are located just two blocks from Lafayette Square, where on Monday U.S. Park Police and other law enforcement agencies used flash-bangs and what protesters described as tear gas to make way for the president’s walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church. The next day, the U.S. Park Police said it and other agencies had not used tear gas, but rather smoke canisters and pepper balls.
Bowser tweeted an overhead video of the display Friday morning.
— Muriel Bowser #StayHomeDC (@MurielBowser) June 5, 2020
BlackLivesMatter DC was not impressed with the mayor’s gesture, tweeting “This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community. Black Lives Matter means Defund the police.”
Bowser was not well received when she made an appearance at the protests outside of the White House earlier this week. She didn’t take a knee or chant with the crowd. As she was leaving, the crowd heckled her, blasting the city’s curfew.
On Friday, Bowser tweeted a letter tweeted a letter she sent to Trump on Thursday requesting that the president “withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from the city.”
“Our police and incident commands have cleared channels of communication and roles and it is important that these additional, unidentified units are operating outside of established chains of commands,” she wrote in the letter.
“This multiplicity of forces can breed dangerous confusion, such as when helicopters are used in a war-like tactic to frighten and disperse peaceful protesters.”
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