But after complaints from residents, and an act of vandalism earlier this year, Franko painted over her mural Friday, according to a report.
The mural showed Floyd’s face on a $20 bill and included the title, “#the_price_of_black_lives.”
The events leading to Floyd’s May 2020 death – for which former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted of murder April 20 – were sparked by Floyd’s alleged attempt to use a counterfeit $20 bill in a store.
But some residents in the Coronado district of Phoenix were not happy with the mural, the Arizona Republic reported.
“This is a mural designed by White people that celebrates White violence,” Coronado resident Kelvin West told the newspaper. “It creates a space for Black people to continue to be traumatized.
“This is a mural designed by White people that celebrates White violence. It creates a space for Black people to continue to be traumatized.”
“The mural got defaced, which created an opportunity for more Black trauma,” he added.
West also claimed that no Black residents were involved in the creation of the mural.
“The mural came out of nowhere,” West said. “Not one Black person was involved in the making of this mural, putting it together or designing it. Oak Street is full of beautiful, well-thought-out murals but this mural is an absolute atrocious representation of White violence and an insult to Black excellence.”
Franko, the artist, told the Republic she was only looking to provoke conversation, not controversy.
“Every time I do a mural, I want to start a conversation,” she said.”I want people to say, ‘What does this mean?’ This is about a story that we don’t hear, that these cops thought that this guy [Floyd] deserves to be killed over an allegedly counterfeit $20 bill. This guy wasn’t hurting anybody.”
After the mural was damaged earlier this year, Franko restored it — and even added a silhouette of herself holding a spray-paint can, as if to say, “You want to [damage] it again? I’m right here. I’m going to fix it,” Phoenix New Times reported.
But following more criticism, Franko decided to cover up the mural.
“I have to do what White people are not able to do very well,” she said, “and that is, give up the platform.”