‘DEFUND’ to be removed from road in front of Durham police HQ

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (AP/WNCN) – A North Carolina city is removing a bright gold “DEFUND” sign painted on the road in front of police headquarters a year ago.

The lettering was painted on the road last June in front of Durham police headquarters as racial-justice protests swept across the country in response to the death of George Floyd.

Normally the city would immediately remove graffiti, but Durham officials allowed the “DEFUND” sign to stay in place.

At a work session Thursday, the city council unanimously agreed to remove the painting.

The city will also remove the word “FUND” painted on the road in front of the Health and Human Services Building on Main Street.

The Durham County Fraternal Order of Police told CBS 17 in April the defund movement and the sign outside the police department were both having a negative impact on police morale and recruitment.

Durham County FOP spokesperson Larry Smith said the “Defund the Police” movement over the last year has discouraged a lot of people from going into law enforcement.

Smith said some Durham officers tell him there does not seem to be strong support for law enforcement coming from the city.

He said one example is the word “Defund” painted on Main Street outside of Durham Police Headquarters.

“Knowing the city has the power to remove that, but leaves it, it affects whether they feel valued or not,” Smith said.

The sign was painted outside of headquarters in June 2020 shortly after George Floyd was murdered on May 25, 2020.

“We understand people wanted to put a message out, but the officers think it’s time for that to come up,” Smith said in April.

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