Bennington approves ‘All Black Lives Matter’ street mural

Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 10:27 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 12:59 PM EDT
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BENNINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Officials in Bennington have approved an “All Black Lives Matter” street mural in front of the town offices.

The selectboard voted unanimously Monday to allow the mural by a local group of artists, advocates. Several residents said they opposed the idea or wanted action delayed to allow more public comment.

Volunteers paint BLM mural in front of City Hall in Burlington earlier this month.
Volunteers paint BLM mural in front of City Hall in Burlington earlier this month.(Courtesy: SammyDepth Photography)

Black Lives Matter murals have been painted on main streets in Burlington and Montpelier following protests nationwide sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Bennington and its police department have a complicated history with race. The town recently settled a civil rights lawsuit over claims of systemic racial profiling by police.

A study team from the International Association of Chiefs of Police was also investigating other past incidents, including complaints that the Bennington Police Department failed to properly respond to threats against former state Rep. Kiah Morris. Morris, the only African-American woman in the Vermont House, stepped down in 2018 following online racial threats.

The town last month hired another consultant to assist the police implement community policing reforms.

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