Victoria Police Chief Del Manak has called for the partial removal of a mural in Bastion Square.
The mural, which reads “More Justice More Peace” was painted by a group of Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC) artists weeks ago.
The main message itself is not the issue for Manak. It’s a smaller more subtle one within that led to his request for removal.
“There’s a mural that was painted with all the best intentions, unfortunately, it did have an acronym that was apart of the mural which was insulting to members of the Victoria Police Department,” said Manak.
The acronym was located within the letter “S” and read ACAB, which stands for All Cops Are Bastards.
“I think that anytime there’s anything disrespectful that doesn’t speak to what’s in existence here locally for our police department I think its highly insulting to our officers,” Manak said.
The leader of the mural, Charity Williams, said she received an email from the city asking for its removal Thursday. Williams said she is insulted by the request.
“To me personally it feels like oppression, it feels like we are continuously asking and demanding for more justice and more peace and they are continuously putting us down and that what we feel doesn’t matter,” Williams said.
Williams said the city initially praised her for the mural, but clearly things have changed.
“To me, it feels like the City of Victoria is saying yeah sure here’s a mural, but anything of importance or anything that actually points a finger to us is not allowed,” Williams said.
Manak said he planned to smooth things over.
“Later today I’m going to be meeting with leaders of the black community to bridge some of those gaps and have that discussion and the continued discussion can better engage with communities of colour.” Manak Said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the slogan had not been removed. A peaceful protest was held at Bastion Square on Thursday in support of the mural.