The Show on KJZZ

Phoenix Rejects Black Lives Matter, Pro-Police Street Murals

By Mark Brodie
Published: Monday, September 21, 2020 - 12:49pm
Updated: Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 10:39am

Audio icon Download mp3 (10.44 MB)

Proposed Black Lives Matter street mural for downtown Phoenix
Gizette Knight
Rendering of community organizer Gizette Knight's proposed Black Lives Matter street mural for downtown Phoenix.

In September, the city of Phoenix denied requests for two murals to be painted on city streets. In a letter to supporters of both, City Manager Ed Zuercher cited concerns with safety and federal guidelines for markings on streets as among the reasons to deny the requests.

They include one from community organizer Gizette Knight, who proposed painting the words “Black Lives Matter,” along with images of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Cesar Chavez and John Lewis on Third Street in downtown Phoenix.

The city also rejected a proposal for a street mural that would have said, “No one is above the law,” in front of Phoenix Police Headquarters. That mural was requested by Mark Spencer, the former head of the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association, who is currently with the conservative group Judicial Watch. 

The Show spoke with Gizette Knight, and asked if she was inspired to do in Phoenix something similar to what Washington, D.C., did — a Black Lives Matter plaza and the words painted on a city street.

More Stories From KJZZ

PoliticsThe Show Race + Diversity