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D.C. Mayor Bowser sued over Black Lives Matter mural

Several activists are suing the mayor, claiming the Black Lives Matter mural she commissioned last week violated the Constitution's Establishment Clause

Updated: June 12, 2020 - 2:24pm

District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser is being sued over the "Black Lives Matter" mural she commissioned to be painted on a stretch of public street near the White House.

The suit alleges that Bowser's action violated the First Amendment and showed a preference to the "Black Lives Matter cult orthodoxy."

Last week, Bowser commissioned the mural, in addition to renaming the street Black Lives Matter plaza. The lawsuit claims that Bowser's decisions came at the expense of taxpayers while prizing one faith or belief over others. The suit also argues that Bowser, a Democrat, acted in violation of the Constitution's Establishment Clause, according to The Washington Times.

"The Black Lives Matter banner conveys that black people are the favored race of the city of D.C., which is of course a racist contention floated by a racist Democrat who persistently refuses to think logically," reads the lawsuit.

To avoid showing favoritism, the suit asks that Bowser alternate the painted banners that run across 16th Street, where many of the recent George Floyd protests have occurred. The plaintiffs suggest the second banner read "Blue Lives Matter," in honor of law enforcement officers. Following that, the plaintiffs suggest a banner that states, "Green Lives Matter," to honor National Guard units. Finally, the activist plaintiffs suggest a banner reading, "All Lives Matter," which the suit calls a "secular" sentiment that would not violate the Constitution. 

The suit is being brought by "street preacher" Pastor Rich Penkoski, Chris Sevier, a former judge advocate general, and Tex Christopher, a Washington lobbyist.

Of the original mural, Bowser said: "There are people who are craving to be heard and to be seen, and to have their humanity recognized, and we had the opportunity to send that message loud and clear on a very important street in our city."