A blue line painted in tribute to the police in Staten Island is prompting a lawsuit against New York City.
“The mayor of this city, who put his street artwork provocatively in front of Trump Tower, did not have a permit, which he just recently admitted,” artist Scott Lobaido told “Fox & Friends First” on Thursday. “The thousands, thousands of individuals who graffiti the public buildings in downtown Manhattan city hall — did any of them who were on film get a letter from the DOT?”
“No, they did not. It was selective enforcement to me. Why? Because I am a conservative-leaning artist as you can see and I support the men and women in blue,” Lobaido said.
Lobaido plans to file a lawsuit against Bill de Blasio’s administration in court if the Department of Transportation continues to pressure him to remove a blue line he painted outside of the 122nd precinct.
Lobaido said he painted the line to show support for the NYPD after Mayor de Blasio announced he would paint “Black Lives Matter” street murals across the five boroughs amid the nationwide police brutality protests.
Although Lobaido did not get permission from the city to paint the line, the artist argued that “the mayor never got a permit to do the Black Lives Matter street art” either.
“So I guess it’s fair game,” Lobaido told Staten Island Live news.
“DOT has asked Lobaido to remove the line or risk getting hit with summonses, or worse, “legal actions,” according to Staten Island Live news.
Lobaido said that his artwork giving “tribute and support” to police officers is “not a political message” and that his First Amendment rights are being violated.
“Why is his artwork more important than mine? He’s saying it’s not political, it’s for a movement. I understand that. Nobody understands how the art and the politics work more than I do,” Lobaido said.
“What is the blue line? The blue line separates anarchy from civilization. What else does that blue line represent? It represents memorializing the men and women who made that ultimate sacrifice.”