The city ordered a Baltimore man to remove political messages that he spraypainted on the side of his house. But after intervention from the ACLU, Maurice Whitehurst was allowed to leave the messages, which included “Black Lives Matter.”
Whitehurst, who lives on Washington Blvd. in Pigtown, was issued a citation from Baltimore housing authority for messages written on his house. One read: “False Flag Is pointing to Black on Black Crime when the issue Is Police ABUSE.” The citation indicated that the messages were graffiti, but Whitehurst said he wrote the messages to share his own story of life in Baltimore amid all of the national media attention the city is receiving.
Whitehurst appealed, arguing that his messages were a work of art, and that he was protected by the First Amendment. The ACLU followed up with its own letter, arguing that there exists no regulatory, statutory, or constitutional authority for the City to issue a citation for marking political messages on one’s own home.”
On Nov. 25, Whitehurst received a letter that the order to clean up his property had been rescinded.
In a statement issued through the ACLU, Whitehurst said, “there needs to be more, not less, dialogue between city officials and residents so that our voices are heard.”
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