Graffiti on memorial of 19-year-old shot by APD

Created: 04/27/2014 10:36 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Family members and friends of a 19-year old woman killed last week by APD continue to visit the site where she died, but the city says that site has gone from a memorial to vandalized public property.

Amanda and her two friends say they see themselves as artists not vandals. Sunday, they visited the sight of their ex-roommate Mary Hawkes to add to her memorial.

“I try not to cry about it because I know that she is gone,” Amanda said.

Amanda held back tears as she spray-paints over bullet holes on the wall.

“I see it as art and I see it as representing who we miss and who was always there for us no matter what,” she said.

The city officials say they have been to this site before to paint over obscenities that were reported, but they are showing respect for the memorial by not painting over it.

"We try to respect memorial sites as much as possible. We understand that they are meaningful to the people who create them. But we respond to request from the public, when it impacts property our policy is to remediate within 24 hours," Jill Holbert Acting Director Solid Waste Management Department said in a statement.

“It’s positive. We are not trying to hide what we are writing on the wall, we are here in the daylight-cars people are passing,” Amanda said.

They say Hawkes was a graffiti artist herself and don't care if it’s breaking the law.

“She did her art, she had a voice,” she said. “They (police) hit up public property too as you can see the bullets, they didn't care why should we?”

They hope the art stays to help them heal.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 reached out to the owners of the wall - they also own the mobile home park on the other side of it - but they did not want to comment.

The city says they are walking a fine line. They will paint over any obscenities that they are called out there for.

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