DALLAS – A large public mural honoring the slain Dallas police officers has been causing problems for the owner. Officials are unsatisfied with its’ non-compliance with city code.
The downtown Dallas business owner says city officials are threatening to issue citations over an 8-foot-tall fence on her property that features the mural, reported Fox News.
Slain Dallas Police Officers Honored
The art work pays tribute to the officers who were killed during an attack on law enforcement at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas on July 7, 2016. Moreover, flowers, notes and other tokens have been left at the mural regularly since its unveiling four days ago.
Diana Paz runs the Last Call Lounge, which is about a mile away from where the murders occurred. She told Fox News Friday that city officials didn’t want to listen when she tried to tell them about the mural.
“They never gave me the chance to tell them what it was that we wanted to do,” Paz said.
Conflict With Fence
City officials insist the mural is not the problem and that they are wrongly being portrayed as insensitive. The say the fence was constructed in violation of city codes.
“We did not ask that any mural be taken down, this has nothing to do with any mural,” said Richard Hill, the public information officer for Dallas City Hall. “It has to do with the fact that a fence was built without a permit.”
“The building inspector went out and looked at it, and gave them a notice,” Hill said. “They went back and the owners still didn’t have a permit, so they gave them a warning. The city did its job.”
Paz was issued a notice of violation May 25. It said that she failed to obtain a permit to use metal siding in the construction and that the fence blocks visibility at a nearby four-way stop.
Paz said her cousin, Cesar Rodriguez, made changes. He moved the fence back three feet to address complaints about visibility at the intersection at an added cost of $2,000, bringing the cost of building the fence to more than $17,000, according to the report.
“They still said it wasn’t right,” Paz said. “The previous old posts are still there, they can see we moved the posts. They say they’ll keep giving us citations.”
Motivation to Honor Slain Dallas Police Officers
Since the night of the tragedy lives vividly in her memory, Paz was motivated to do something. Three officers working at her bar took off when they heard the call for assistance.
Paz said her intention was to commemorate the shooting anniversary with the artwork. Hence, the mural shows six officers of different races carrying a coffin with an American flag draped over it.
“We saw how they rushed out,” Paz said. “It touched our own employees. We just wanted to do something for the anniversary, to give some positivity” by commissioning the mural.
Finally, Paz said she will continue making modifications to the fence until inspectors are satisfied and grant her a permit.
(Photo: Screenshot Fox & Friends broadcast)