Tamir Rice. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. Philando Castile. Terence Crutcher. Tony Robinson. Sandra Bland. Freddie Grey. These are just a few names of black people who have been wrongly killed by police. These are the names of just a few people whose families never saw justice for their loved ones’ deaths.
This painting echoes Michelangelo’s “Pieta”, in which the Virgin Mary weeps while holding the lifeless body of Jesus in her arms. While painting, I referred to photographs of “Pieta” in order to capture the grief of a mother who has lost her son. The Virgin Mary is represented by Justitia, the goddess of Justice. Jesus is represented by the archetypical “Black Man Murdered By Police”. At Justitia’s feet lay her scales, broken, and her sword, unused. Above her is a ribbon which says “Veritas et Aequitas”, a Latin phrase meaning “Truth and Justice”.
May this painting serve as an homage to all who have been wrongly killed at the hands of police due to their race. May it serve as a prayer of healing for the grieving families. May it raise awareness of racially-charged use of lethal force, and encourage de-escalation, compassion, and patience in all police officers. Black Lives Matter.