You know it’s gotta be a slow day at the precinct when city police issue a felony arrest warrant for a world famous street artist who helped get the nation’s first black president elected.
What’s that you say? It wasn’t a slow day at the precinct? You say 27 people were shot just over the weekend? Then what in shit is the Detroit Police Department doing issuing felony warrants to street artists?
That seemed to be the collective reaction from Detroiters tired of being the butt of jokes about crime, knowing full well that most homicides go unsolved while tax foreclosures and water shut-offs are rampant.
Warrant out for artist Shepard Fairey; Detroit police say fame “does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal” http://t.co/exP1zBiY9v
— Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) June 25, 2015
Pro-tip for getting away with shit: Fame actually takes away from most facts.
The people of Detroit are also quick to own celebs who come to town to bestow a bit of charm by elevating Motown as best they can. Sir Richard Branson certainly got the royal treatment this month. Once somebody’s a darling in the eyes of the locals, do not fuck with said darling.
Yet fuck with is exactly what the police did.
Detroit PD wants to charge Shepard Fairey with vandalism for pasting up paper? Not paint, paper. As in, it’ll come off next time it rains.
— Patrick Cant (@newswhore) June 25, 2015
Detroit would put a warrant out for Shepard Fairey’s arrest….. — Hannah (@hannahzun) June 25, 2015
— chaysonjayson (@ChaysonJayson) June 25, 2015
Michigan/Detroit doesn’t want the creative class to rise. Cut those film incentives baby, to many weirdoes are… http://t.co/rAwjXon1j8
— Sista Otis (@sistaotis) June 25, 2015
Man, I wish he would have tagged my building when he was in town. At least it might be worth something more than… http://t.co/esZsszyaiR
— Tangent / HSB (@tangentHSB) June 25, 2015
Shepard Fairey made it clear when he was invited to town by billionaire Dan Gilbert to paint his largest mural to date he’d also be breakin’ the law by throwing up wheat pastes, which, I guess, is technically illegal. Motor City Muckraker collected images of most of Fairey’s recent Detroit works.
Fairey’s got money, he’ll hardly be persecuted in this. What’s more concerning is that DPD would aggressively go after any artist who’s clearly adding to the beauty and visual appeal of a city desperate to attract the positive attention of onlookers.
But hey, who knows, maybe DPD is just doing Shepard a solid by giving the mainstream artist some renewed street cred, lest his cozy relationship with billionaires and presidents tarnish his OBEY brand.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out over the next few days and weeks.
In related news, police have also issued a posthumous arrest warrant to Diego Rivera for offending wealthy capitalists.