“Break through the blue wall of silence and restore the trust of the communities they are sworn to protect.”
Michael D’Antuono — whose controversial A Tale Of Two Hoodies, inspired by the racial profiling that led to Trayvon Martin’s death, went viral — is back with his latest painting, It Stops With Cops.
It Stops With Cops was created to inspire police to “break through the blue wall of silence and restore the trust of the communities they are sworn to protect.” The artist carried an eight-foot banner to the steps of the Mitchell Courthouse in Baltimore— the location of the first trial for the six officers arrested and charged in the April 2014 death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man whose spine was severed when officers failed to place him in a seatbelt during transport in a police van. Gray died of suffocation due to his spinal cord injuries.
D’Antuono’s painting, in calling for officers to break through the wall, urges them to speak up and hold their colleagues accountable.
In addition to putting the banner on display at the trial, which boasts a majority Black jury, D’Antuono plans to deploy a 17-foot traveling billboard of the piece to pass by the courthouse.