This piece refers to the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri, in August 2014.
Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black man, was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a white police officer, after reportedly robbing a convenience store. The incident sparked protests and civil unrest in the area, with claims that Brown had raised his hands in surrender and said “Don’t Shoot”. A grand jury cleared Wilson and he was exonerated of criminal wrongdoing by the United States Department of Justice.
Bambi‘s piece reflects the claimed gesture and words, a symbol adopted in rallies against police violence. In December 2014, president Barack Obama created a commission to make recommendations for broad police reform. This may explain why the figure in Bambi’s mural resembles Obama much more than Brown.
The right hand side of the work contains a few lines in white script:
“You abuse your powers again and again
Another innocent unarmed soul is murdered in your name
Filthy blue lies flow and flow
You shot him six times for just jaywalking home
Left in a pool of blood on the street
But you think it’s just another day on the beat
Come on justice must be done or anarchy will bite you on the bum”
If you have the opportunity to be in Venice in the next couple of months, be sure to visit Bambi’s exclusive exhibition of new works as part of the Venice Biennale. Venice in a Bottle Gallery, Via Garibaldi, 9th May – 23rd June.
Copyright Debbie Smyth, 8 May 2017
Posted as part of Monday Mural