Artist Creates Last-Words Mural to Honor Victims of Police Violence on New Jersey Street

An artist dedicated an entire block in the northern New Jersey community of Demarest to the Black Lives Matter movement on June 4, writing the names of victims of police violence on a street, accompanied by their famous last words.

Artist Courtney Relyea-Spivack said she wanted to inspire people in the wake of protests that have rocked the globe since the death of George Floyd.

Relyea-Spivack, 25, is a Manhattan resident but is riding out the coronavirus lockdown in Demarest. She said the entire block took six hours, four boxes of chalk, and “a very badly sunburned back … but it was the least I could do.”

“Right now, the world’s energy is tangible. It vibrates from the beat of the protests around the country. It’s Inspiring. I feel hopeful that times are changing for the better, but I believe we will all need to take action. The war on racism won’t stop until my black friends, family, and coworkers feel safe enough to walk the streets of their hometowns, like I can mine,” she said. Credit: Courtney Relyea-Spivack via Storyful