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Thursday, June 27, 2019

Street Artist Arrested, Accused of Vandalism While Working on City-Approved Mural

Sheefy McFly, artist arrested

Sheefy McFly

Detroit, MI — Sheefy McFly, a talented and well-known mural artist, was recently arrested in Detroit after being accused of vandalism while he was painting a mural commissioned by the city. Officers claimed that he was uncooperative during the arrest, but McFly says what he experienced with the police was yet another case of racial profiling.

McFly, whose legal name is Tashif Turner, was painting a mural for Detroit’s City Walls — a beautification project that aims to fight against vandalism and illegal grafitti since 2017 — when he was reportedly arrested by police officers who accused him of vandalism.

“It’s an oxymoron — doing something for the city and being arrested by the city,” McFly told the Detroit Free Press.

McFly tried to explain to the police officers, but went on to put handcuff on him. He said he pulled away and tried to get his bag to look for his city-issued permit, which he coincidentally did not have with him on that day. A city official then showed up to confirm that what he was doing was legal.

However, the situation escalated and officers detained him, with one putting her hand on his neck. He was arrested for allegedly resisting and obstructing police. They also found an arrest warrant for a years-old parking violation.

“They treated me like a felon even though I was commissioned by the city to do this,” McFly, who is also a musician, said. “I felt threatened for my life. I felt like if I really didn’t keep my composure, they would’ve beat my [expletive].”

McFly spent 24 hours in “horrible” conditions at Detroit Detention Center before being allowed to be released. McFly is still unsure if he would continue working on his mural.

“I may go back next week, but I need some days to collect myself and figure out how I can be safe. I feel racially profiled and bullied,” he said.

Meanwhile, a city executive said the incident was a result of a miscommunication between the city and the police department.

“When we’re doing murals, we have a police lieutenant we work with to make sure surrounding precincts are aware that it’s a city-sponsored program, and the artists have permits,” Bran Dick stated. “Unfortunately, some random officers who weren’t associated with the nearby precincts drove by and saw him and though it was an unauthorized action.”

Check out Sheefy McFly’s work on his official web site at www.sheefymcfly.com

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