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'Black Lives Matter' mural painted outside Trump Tower in New York City

Rev. Al Sharpton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio were among those who helped paint 'Black Live Matter' on the street in front of Trump Tower.

NEW YORK — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio grabbed a roller Thursday to paint “Black Lives Matter" in front of the namesake Manhattan tower of President Donald Trump, who tweeted last week that the street mural would be “a symbol of hate.”

De Blasio was flanked by his wife, Chirlane McCray, and the Rev. Al Sharpton as he helped paint the racial justice rallying cry in giant yellow letters on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower. Activists watching chanted, “Whose streets? Our streets!”

The mayor announced the plan to paint “Black Lives Matter” in front of Trump Tower last month after earlier saying the slogan would be painted on streets at several locations around the city. Trump responded via Twitter that the mural would denigrate “this luxury Avenue” and “further antagonize New York’s Finest.” De Blasio tweeted back that Black Lives Matter is "a movement to recognize and protect the lives of Black people.”

Credit: AP
Black Lives Matter is painted on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, Thursday, July 9, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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Rahima Torrence, 20, who was among the people slapping yellow paint onto Fifth Avenue, said that even though the mural might be a symbol, “it's the beginning of something more.” She said the location in front of Trump's own skyscraper “shows that we matter and it shows to him that you can't ignore us.”

Credit: AP
Mayor Bill de Blasio, third from left, participates in painting Black Lives Matter on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, Thursday, July 9, 2020, in New York.

Washington, D.C. was the first U.S. city to get a giant yellow “Black Lives Matter” mural when Mayor Muriel Bowser had it painted on the street leading to the White House. Bowser said the painting was intended to show solidarity with Americans outraged over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

Trump lived in Trump Tower before he took office as president but has spent little time there since. He changed his official residence from New York to Florida last year. His business empire is still headquartered there.

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Associated Press video journalist Joe Frederick contributed to this report.

Credit: AP
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, wearing orange mask, participates in painting Black Lives Matter on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, Thursday, July 9, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)