Black Lives Matter mural prompts California cops’ suit for harassment

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Black Lives Matter mural prompts California cops' suit for harassment

Five California police officers are suing the city of Palo Alto for permitting a Black Lives Matter mural to be painted with anti-police images, claiming that it’s discriminatory against law enforcement and constitutes harassment.

The suit filed in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Sunday claimed that the city enabled a “discriminatory and harassing work environment” by allowing the mural two blocks away from the entrance to the police department, the Daily Post in Palo Alto reported.

“Law enforcement officers, including Plaintiffs, were forced to physically pass and confront the Mural and its offensive, discriminatory, and harassing iconography every time they entered the Palo Alto Police Department,” the lawsuit said.

The mural, which was painted following the murder of George Floyd, features the logo of the New Black Panthers, which is considered by the Southern Poverty Law Center to be a hate group that has encouraged violence against white people and law enforcement, according to the lawsuit.

A Black Lives Matter mural in Palo Alto, California
The lawsuit claimed police officers complained that the mural violated the state Fair Employment and Housing Act.
AP

It also includes an image of Joanne Chesimard, who was convicted in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey state trooper before she broke out of prison and fled to Cuba.

The suit claimed police officers complained that the mural violated the state Fair Employment and Housing Act, but city officials “ratified the conduct and insisted that it remain and persist.”

“Defendants created and allowed to exist the aforementioned discriminatory and harassing work environment,” the suit said. “Not only did the defendants allow the harassing and discriminatory iconography to exist in the workplace, but they also sanctioned, approved, encouraged, and paid for it.”

City attorney Molly Stump said Palo Alto has not been served with the lawsuit, the newspaper reported.

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