A New Age of Crime: Sidewalk Chalk as Graffiti
Back in the 1980′s, New York City was generously decorated with graffiti. Over the last two decades, the city managed to clean itself up, but they seemed to have missed one particular vandal, Brooklyn resident 6-year-old Natalie Shea.
Natalie’s mother received a citation for her daughter’s sidewalk chalk art that stated:
“PLEASE REMOVE THE GRAFFITI FROM YOUR PROPERTY,” … “FAILURE TO COMPLY … MAY RESULT IN ENFORCEMENT ACTION AGAINST YOU,” meaning a $300 fine. Yes, for wash-away sidewalk chalk on her home’s stoop.
When did this artistic, youthful pastime become a crime? In 2005 the City Council
passed local law 111, which defined graffiti as “any letter,
word, name, number, symbol, slogan, message, drawing, picture, writing
… that is drawn, painted, chiseled, scratched, or etched on a
commercial building or residential building.”
The graffiti was reported by an anonymous caller to the city’s 311 helpline. Natalie’s mother responded by saying, “He could have just asked! This whole thing is
ridiculous. Admittedly, this drawing was not her best work — she
usually sticks to cheerful scenes, not abstracts, frankly — but to send
a warning letter like that is outrageous.” (Mom’s sarcasm is duly noted.)
Is Crayola also at fault as well for aiding in this heinous crime? The title of their product is awfully incriminating.
Weather.com predicts rain for Wednesday. Thank goodness this atrocity will be taken care of, once and for all.
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