The Washington, D.C., government dropped hundreds of thousands of dollars touching up its “Black Lives Matter” street painting as crime skyrockets in the Democrat-run city.
The refurbishment of the infamous mural, which Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser initially painted in June 2020 as BLM protests were underway in the city and across the country, appears to have run taxpayers $271,231, including $217,680 in labor costs and $53,551 in paint supplies, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch from D.C.’s Department of Transportation.
“DC crime is out of control but local leaders continue to waste $270,000 in tax money promoting the extremist Black Lives Matter movement in the heart of Washington DC that is racist, anti-police, anti-American, and often violent,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said in a statement.
According to the documents, the city contracted with D.C.-based vendor Equus Striping on the project. The company posted videos on its Facebook page showing its team “making progress on prepping the surface” of the BLM mural on Nov. 8 and shared the completed project the following day.
“As a black and women owned DC business, we couldn’t be prouder of our crew. A lot of elbow grease went into this project and we are incredibly happy with how it turned out,” the vendor wrote. “Thanks for Helping us Change the World, One Line at a Time.”
The D.C. government doled out the cash to repaint the mural after slashing its police budget by millions since 2020. The city also has 400 fewer officers than three years ago, according to multiple reports.
Meanwhile, the nation’s capital has experienced soaring crime rates as its leaders have attempted to alleviate anxiety. Democrat D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson told the House Committee on Oversight in late March that while there are significant concerns regarding crime, residents should not worry.
“With regard to crime, yes, there is considerable concern,” Mendelson said. “But while perception is important, the reality is less concerning. Let me be clear: People should feel safe, and it is a problem that many residents of the district don’t.
“I know this belies the common belief – and when it comes to crime, how people feel is important – but there is not a crime crisis in Washington, D.C.”
The hearing came after months of disputes between Congress and the D.C. council over crime proposals. It also occurred just days after a staff member for Republican Sen. Rand Paul was severely injured after being stabbed by a man who had recently been released from prison.
Statistics show that crime in D.C. remains exponentially higher than last year.
According to data from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, homicides have increased by 34% as of Nov. 28 over the same time in 2022, while robberies are up 68%, motor vehicle theft is up 93% and arson is up 125%.
Overall, violent crime is up 40% this year, while all crime is up 27%, the data shows.
“I was not denying the importance of public safety,” Mendelson told Fox News Digital in August. “The increase in crime is, of course, a concern. But back in March when I testified, Congressman Comer was suggesting a ‘crisis’ to justify taking away the District’s Home Rule. I don’t agree with that. In fact, Congress has gotten in the way of our efforts to fight crime by under-resourcing local prosecutions, cutting local police funding, and interfering with our ability to control illegal cannabis sales.”
Democratic D.C. Councilmember Trayon White Sr. sang a much different tune than Mendelson. In early August, White said it might be time to bring in the National Guard as the city continued to be hammered by criminality.
“The crime is out of control and getting worse by the day,” White said at a press conference at the time. “We must declare an emergency regarding the crime and violence in our neighborhoods and act urgently. It may be time to call on the National Guard to protect the children and innocent people that are losing their lives to this senselessness.”
“I am tired of burying our children. We are too comfortable with the state of our city. We must take action to gain control and protect our residents,” he continued. “Law enforcement is only one part of how we combat public safety issues. It will take all of us to heal our community.”
Mayor Bowser’s office did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.