POLICE RIOTS, 2016
spray-paint and acrylics on canvas
78.7 x 57.1 inches
The reason for the New York Police Riots was that the State of New York wanted to put a stop to the corrupt activities of Mayor Fernando Wood. The Municipal Police, a kind of private army loyal to the mayor, was to be replaced by the Metropolitan Police. The latter was subordinate to the state of New York. As a result, in 1857, the rival police forces came to blows.
Mayor Fernando Wood had quite idiosyncratic ideas about law and order.
He holed up in City Hall, guarded by his Municipal Police, while in front of City Hall 300 more of his Municipal policemen and additional hired thugs battered fifty Metropolitans out of their new uniforms, glittering badges and spotless coats until they finally took flight.