A graffiti artist hired by the city of Detroit to paint a mural is speaking out after he was arrested by police who suspected him of vandalizing public property, an accusation he believes was based on race.
Sheefy McFly, born Tashif Turner, was taken into custody last week while working on a mural near a viaduct just east of Seven Mile Road, according to the Detroit Metro Times.The city commissioned Turner, 29, as part of the City Walls project, a multi–year initiative aimed at deterring graffiti with public art in areas prone to vandalism.
Launched in 2017, the program also pays artists and provides them with the tools they need to create urban masterpieces. Turner was working on one such piece when he was approached by police on Wednesday, June 19.
The street artist, who’s painted several murals across the city, said he was issued a permit to carry with him while he worked on the mural, but had forgotten it at home on the day in question. By that time, Turner had been working on the piece for a few days and figured local law enforcement had become comfortable with him being there.