New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan on June 9 to paint and rename streets in each borough to honor the Black Lives Matter movement.
Watch de Blasio’s remarks in the player above.
The mayor said the initiative was meant to recognize “the power of the fundamental idea, [that] black lives matter, the idea that so much of American history has wrongly renounced, but now must be reaffirmed.”
De Blasio’s announcement follows the killing of George Floyd, a black man whose death on May 25 in Minneapolis police custody sparked global protests against institutional racism and policy brutality.
A bystander video of the encounter between Floyd and four police officers shows one of the officers, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds, despite his pleas that he could not breathe.
Chauvin has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in Floyd’s death. The three other officers involved were charged with aiding and abetting murder.
Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser oversaw the completion of a two-block mural with the words “Black Lives Matter” in bright yellow letters on the street leading up to the White House last week.
A sign now identifies the section of 16th Street near the White House as “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”
The local chapter of Black Lives Matter said it did not support painting the street and took a swipe at Bowser. “This is performative and a distraction from her active counter organizing to our demands to decrease the police budget and invest in the community,” it said on Twitter. They called for defunding the police and added “Defund the Police” to the painted street.