Graffiti Artist Paints Controversial Anti-Gun Mural In Brooklyn

May 15, 2015 | Bucky Turco

Russell Murphy aka a graffiti writer you all know by another name, painted a mural against gun violence in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, and it’s apparently stirring some controversy.

The piece, which reads “Don’t Shoot” in big drippy letters, was done with permission on the rolldown gate of a sneaker store at 556 Flatbush Avenue. The message is not inherently political, but some residents assumed it was a reference to the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” slogan used by those who protest police brutality. Some residents ironically assumed it was an anti-NYPD mural and slammed the project on Facebook. According to DNAinfo, some locals characterized it as “uncreative, ugly, and inappropriate.” Before it was even done, people were taking issues with it. “They called 911 on me twice while I was painting this shit, hashtag #jadhelm15, if you know what I mean,” said Murphy.

“It’s not a cop-on-civilian thing, but an overall anti-gun violence message,” said Jenny Ulloa, the Brooklyn-born PLG resident and CNN writer/producer who curated the ongoing project. “I was interested in bringing art to the neighborhood and set out to do it a year ago, but I didn’t actively do it until recently,” she said.

“It’s amazing how a message written on a gate could spark so much debate, interpretations and emotions from people, said Ulloa, adding, “The power of art.”

(Photo: Jenny Ulloa)