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Protesters stop Madison crews from removing “Police free schools” mural

The City of Madison says that due to protests on Friday, crews have halted the process of removing a giant mural in the city’s downtown.
The "Police free schools" mural in downtown Madison
The "Police free schools" mural in downtown Madison(WMTV)
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 3:47 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -The City of Madison says that due to protests on Friday, crews have halted the process of removing a giant mural in the city’s downtown.

The mural, in which "Police free schools" is written in giant yellow letters along West Dayton Street, was scheduled to be removed by the City of Madison Streets Division.

The city argued in a release Friday that the mural causes a traffic hazard by covering the double yellow traffic lines and obscuring pedestrian crossings.

But a rally met the city crews Friday, and protesters called for the mural to stay.

The city decided that out of concern for the safety of protesters and workers, the removal process has stopped.

The city of Madison expects the project to remove the single mural from the street will cost upwards of $8,000.

"The Streets Division will continue to work on ways to address safety issues in the areas where streets have been painted," according to the release.

WATCH: "Police free schools" was written in giant yellow letters along Dayton Street outside the Madison School District's offices

WATCH: "Police free schools" was written in giant yellow letters along Dayton Street outside the Madison School District's offices this week. It's part of protesters' call to remove MPD officers from Madison schools. MORE >> nbc15.com/a?a=512148011

Posted by NBC15 Madison on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Protesters originally made the mural in early June, purposely outside the Madison School District Doyle Administration Building. Protesters were calling the school district to remove School Resource Officers from the district's high schools.

That effort proved successful, as the school board and the Common Council have voted to approve removing SROs from the city’s four high schools.

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