Victoria Police Chief Del Manak called changes to the More Justice, More Peace mural “offensive” in a statement Oct. 30. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak called changes to the More Justice, More Peace mural “offensive” in a statement Oct. 30. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

Victoria police chief calls new changes to downtown mural ‘offensive’

‘ACAB’ replaced with a note accusing the City, VicPD of silencing BIPOC

Victoria Police Chief Del Manak is calling recent changes to the controversial More Justice, More Peace mural perhaps even more “offensive” than the piece’s “original anti-police rhetoric.”

The Bastion Square mural, first painted in August to draw attention to racial injustice, became the center of discussion after the acronym ‘ACAB’ – which stands for All Cops Are Bastards – was added to the design inside one of the letters.

After opposition from Chief Manak and lengthy discussion by Victoria council, the mural’s artists were asked to remove the acronym.

On Wednesday (Oct. 28) the artists gathered together and replaced the ‘ACAB’ acronym with an eagle feather and the phrase: “This letter has been censored by the City of Victoria influenced by the Victoria Police Department. In doing so, Victoria is contributing to the silencing of Black and Indigenous voices and experiences across this land.”

READ ALSO: ACAB removed from Victoria’s More Justice, More Peace mural

In a statement two days later, Chief Manak said he was “deeply disappointed in this outcome.”

“In my opinion, the divisive message contained in this artwork is inaccurate, misinformed and disrespectful,” he said, calling it “an affront to the women and men of the Victoria Police Department.”

Chief Manak said he acknowledges that systemic racism exists and must be confronted, but that “expressions of hate, exclusion and disrespect are not helpful.”

READ ALSO: West Shore RCMP’s top cop joins voices calling for removal of anti-police acronym

For the mural’s artists though, having to alter their original work only proves their point.

“BIPOC voices get silenced when it’s something that folks aren’t comfortable with,” said mural organizer, Charity Williams, speaking with Black Press Media earlier this week.

Chief Manak finished his statement by expressing his appreciation for “the countless number of citizens who have stopped to thank our officers or offer them their words of support and encouragement.”

-With files from Nina Grossman and Kendra Crighton


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

ArtGreater VictoriaVictoria Police Department

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital took in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health as part of a provincial agreement. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria hospital takes in two COVID-19 patients from Northern Health

Royal Jubilee Hospital takes patients as part of provincial transport network

Penny Hart is calling on the community to help find her son Sean Hart who was last seen on Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Search spreads for Saanich man missing from mental health facility for nearly a month

Family hopeful as possible sightings reported across Island and in Vancouver

Island Health is expanding COVID-19 testing in Nanaimo with a new testing location at Vancouver Island University. (News Bulletin file photo)
Island Health issues apology over racist practices in health care system

Report by Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond finds ‘widespread systemic racism against Indigenous people’

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

(Needpix.com)
Fraudsters projected to use pet scams to gouge over $3M from customers: BBB

The pandemic heavily contributed to the number of puppy scams

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy are inviting audiences into their home for ‘A Celtic Family Christmas’. (Submitted)
Natalie MacMaster coming to you through Cowichan Performing Arts Centre

Here’s your chance to enjoy the famed fiddler in an online show with her husband Donnell Leahy.

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

Most Read