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Photos: Bridgeport 'Blue Lives Matter' Sign Sparks Graffiti Battle

By Mae Rice in News on Jun 14, 2016 7:25PM

A "Blue Lives Matter" sign displayed in the window of a Bridgeport home sparked confrontational graffiti messages on the sidewalk outside this week—at least one of them from a Black Lives Matter advocate.

An apparent response to the sign had been written out on the sidewalk outside the home's entrance in black paint, reading: "Black Lives Matter! Not Blue!" Former Chicagoist editor Chuck Sudo shared photos with us showing the sidewalk graffiti, in the 3000 block of South Emerald Avenue.

Photo courtesy of Chuck Sudo

Another message on the sidewalk outside the home read "Blue Lives Only End Black Lives," which can be interpreted as a genocidal message: "Blue Lives Only. End Black Lives." It could be also be read as a single sentence, arguing that all cops do is kill black people.

Photo courtesy of Chuck Sudo

The graffiti has since been washed away.

The slogan "Blue Lives Matter" is used to show support for police; the "blue" is an allusion to their blue uniform shirts. The slogan is derived from the Black Lives Matter movement, which sprang up in 2014 in protest of widespread police brutality against black people. The phrase "Blue Lives Matter" has gained traction recently with some aldermen proposing an ordinance that would make attacking a cop a hate crime, even though being a first-responder is not a protected class.

Though it's a national movement, Black Lives Matter has been vocal in Chicago, especially after the city released video footage of police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times, killing him. That shooting prompted widespread Black Lives Matter protests; Van Dyke has since been charged with murder.

Felix Zaczek, who ABC7 reports rents the home with the sign. Zaczek told ABC7 he plans to keep his "Blue Lives Matter" sign up. Zaczek was not available to speak Tuesday afternoon, and the graffiti had been mostly erased by 1 p.m.

Here's the signage that sparked the exchange:

The "Blue Lives Matter" sign in the Bridgeport home's window (photo courtesy of Chuck Sudo)

ABC7 reports that police are investigating the graffiti, but the Chicago Police Department's Office of News Affairs told Chicagoist they have no record of an investigation so far.

Bridgeport has historically been known as a home to many first-responders and Irish-Americans. It also has deep roots in Chicago politics; five of Chicago's mayors, including Richard J. Daley and Richard M. Daley, were born there.

Rachel Cromidas contributed reporting to this story.