Watchdog Reveals How Much DC Is Spending To Refresh BLM Mural As Violent Crime Surges

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Washington, D.C., spent an eyebrow-raising amount of money to refresh a Black Lives Matter mural amid concerns of surging crime and declining support for the group, according to Judicial Watch.

The nation’s capital reportedly spent $270,000 to repaint “Black Lives Matter Plaza,” according to a statement released by Judicial Watch on Nov. 22. The decision to refresh the Black Lives Matter mural, which rests on a two-block-long portion of 16th street NW, has raised eyebrows by those who suggest the group has heavily contributed to worsening crime rates. (RELATED: REPORT: DC To Freshen Up Black Lives Matter Mural Amid Backlash Over Group’s Hamas Support)

The Washington, D.C., city council voted to reduce the police budget by millions in the summer of 2020 as violent riots rocked the nation in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Violent crime continued to surge in 2023, with the city seeing 13 homicides in just the first five days of August. Left-wing lawmakers pivoted to providing police with additional resources in “hot spots” where violent crime is common.

Zack Smith, a crime and justice expert at the Heritage Foundation, told the Washington Examiner that the city should direct funding to public safety measures rather than social justice initiatives.

“It’s insulting on multiple fronts,” Smith told the the Washington Examiner. “If the city council and the mayor’s office are serious about combating violent crime, protecting the lives hopefully of all citizens, but particularly black lives, then they would pour more money into public safety — particularly putting more police officers on the street.”

Black Lives Matter has seen its support decline in the years following the 2020 killing of Floyd. Support for the organization decreased from 67% in the summer of 2020 to 51% in April 2023, according to a June 2023 Pew report. Critics of the movement point out that the organization has corruption issues. Black Lives Matter founders were lambasted after being exposed for purchasing lavish properties while black communities across the country still struggle with crime and poverty.