Work began on the ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue Thursday morning.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was pictured helping to paint the installation, tweeting: ‘Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message.’
He had last week temporarily called off the painting just feet from Trump’s former home a day after engaging in a Twitter spat with the president. Trump branded the mural it a ‘symbol of hate’ and demanded the money for its creation be spent on the NYPD instead.
De Blasio announced the city would paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on streets at locations around the city following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police in May. Department of Transportation workers began work at the site at around 10am Thursday morning.
Its painting came on the same day the Supreme Court dealt a stunning blow to the president by ruling that his bank and his accountants must hand over his tax returns that New York prosecutors had demanded.
The court ruled 7-2 that Trump is not immune as president from subpoenas, in an opinion that tested both the power of local prosecutors and Congress to obtain information.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion; the two who dissented were Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, meaning the justices Trump appointed – Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh ruled against him.
Work has begun on the ‘ Black Lives Matter ‘ mural outside Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. Trump lived in Trump Tower before he took office as president but has spent little time there since. He changed his official residence to Florida last year
On Thursday Mayor Bill de Blasio was pictured helping to paint the mural, tweeting: ‘Our city isn’t just painting the words on Fifth Avenue. We’re committed to the meaning of the message’
People participate in painting a Black Lives Matter mural on 5th Avenue between 56th and 57th Street on Thursday
Azia Toussaint, left, participates in the painting of Black Lives Matter on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, Thursday
Black Lives Matter is painted on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower on Thursday
Bill de Blasio had last week temporarily called off the painting just feet from the U.S. president’s former home
Trump didn’t take kindly to de Blasio’s taunt, taking to Twitter to lash out at the mayor, who overnight slashed the NYPD budget by more than $1 billion
The mayor responded directly to Trump tell him ‘you don’t understand’
Trump has not yet reacted to the mural but immediately responded to the Supreme Court decision, slamming the justices and claiming he was being singled out by them tweeting: ‘Courts in the past have given ‘broad deference’. BUT NOT ME!’
The records are being sought by Manhattan district attorney Cy Vance Jr. who is investigating whether Trump paid hush money to Stormy Daniels to stop her revealing her claims they had sex.
The ruling does not mean the records will be made public any time soon – Vance must go back to court in New York to seek the subpoenas for both Deutsche Bank and Mazars, Trump’s long-term accountants.
But the justices handed Trump a partial victory in Congressional Democrats’ parallel attempt to get his tax returns, ruling that although he is not immune from subpoena as he had claimed, their case has to go back to lower courts to be heard, giving Trump some breathing space on that front.
The Black Lives Matter mural was first announced at the end of June to emulate those in other cities by painting the letters on a prominent roadway, in this case, beside a former home of President Trump.
He lived in Trump Tower before he took office as president but has spent little time there since. He changed his official residence to Florida last year. His business empire is still headquartered there.
It is believed it will take one hundred gallons of paint to create and will close off traffic by Trump Tower for a number of days once painting begins.
De Blasio appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to provide an update on the mural’s creation, nearly a week after he first unveiled plans for the words to be painted down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue.
‘Whenever Trump comes back to his old state (New York), he’ll get a message that he still doesn’t understand. Maybe seeing outside his doorstep will help him get the point,’ de Blasio grinned.
Trump didn’t take kindly to de Blasio’s taunt, taking to Twitter to lash out at the mayor, who had overnight slashed the NYPD budget by more than $1 billion.
‘NYC is cutting Police $ by ONE BILLION DOLLARS, and yet the @NYCMayor is going to paint a big, expensive, yellow Black Lives Matter sign on Fifth Avenue, denigrating this luxury Avenue,’ the President blasted.
‘This will further antagonize New York’s Finest, who LOVE New York & vividly remember the horrible BLM chant, ‘Pigs In A Blanket, Fry ‘Em Like Bacon’. Maybe our GREAT Police, who have been neutralized and scorned by a mayor who hates & disrespects them, won’t let this symbol of hate be affixed to New York’s greatest street. Spend this money fighting crime instead!’
De Blasio responded directly to Trump’s tweet, calling it the ‘definition of racism’.
‘Here’s what you don’t understand: Black people BUILT 5th Ave and so much of this nation,’ de Blasio wrote.
‘Your ‘luxury’ came from THEIR labor, for which they have never been justly compensated. We are honoring them. The fact that you see it as denigrating your street is the definition of racism.
‘You also don’t know that NY’s Finest are now a majority people of color. They already know Black Lives Matter,’ he continued in a second tweet.
‘There is no ‘symbol of hate’ here. Just a commitment to truth. Only in your mind could an affirmation of people’s value be a scary thing.’
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also weighed in, according to NBC New York, supporting the mural in general but criticizing de Blasio for NYPD budget cuts amid a recent spike in violence in the Big Apple. He claimed the goal was to just to appease protesters with budget cuts but to have reform of the police department.
‘Now it’s about making the actual change. Not just saying to the protesters, ‘I’m with you’,’ Cuomo said.
De Blasio’s NYPD budget cut will cancel the recruitment of 1,163 new officers, strip $484million from the overtime budget and transfer $354million to other services.
The contentious budget passed the City Council with 32 votes in favor and an unusually large 17 votes against just ahead of the midnight deadline following hours of delays.
NYC follows in the footsteps of Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser, who had the street leading to the White House painted with a ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural on June 5, pictured
President Trump and Mayor de Blasio engaged in a Twitter spat over the mural with Trump branding it a ‘symbol of hate’
The Black Lives Matter mural was first announced at the end of June to emulate those in other cities by painting the letters on a prominent roadway, in this case, beside a former home of President Trump
It is believed it will take one hundred gallons of paint to create and will close off traffic by Trump Tower for a number of days
President Trump claimed the NYPD were ‘furious’ about the proposal to paint a ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural in Manhattan as they faced hefty budget cuts.
After plans for the mural were first unveiled, Julia Arredondo, a spokeswoman for de Blasio, attacked Trump in a statement, saying: ‘The president is a disgrace to the values we cherish in New York City.
‘He can’t run or deny the reality we are facing, and any time he wants to set foot in the place he claims is his hometown, he should be reminded Black Lives Matter.’
New York is following in the footsteps of Washington D.C., which had the street leading to the White House painted with a ‘Black Lives Matter’ mural on June 5. The NYC version appears to be far smaller in scale.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also weighed in, according to NBC New York , supporting the mural in general but criticizing de Blasio for NYPD budget cuts amid a recent spike in violence in the Big Apple