DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — The massive, yellow “DEFUND” sign painted outside the Durham Police Department’s headquarters was gone on Friday morning.
The removal comes three weeks after the Durham City Council voted unanimously on June 10 to remove the sign in front of the police department’s headquarters.
The wording had been painted on Main Street since June 2020 following the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
To replace the sign, the city council asked a public art committee to commission a mural commemorating the important events following Floyd’s murder.
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 sign was defaced on May 10. The massive, yellow block letters with an arrow pointing at police headquarters had a blue line drawn across the middle and a blue heart with the words “Thank you” written inside it.
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 told CBS 17 that 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 was the word “Defund” that had been painted on Main Street.
“We understand people wanted to put a message out, but the officers think it’s time for that to come up,” Smith said to CBS 17.
The sign is now gone.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report