Church owner Grant Henry paints over graffiti calling for ‘riot 4 Trayvon’

Bar owner paints over message on someone else’s building


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  • Henry questioned whether he should cover up graffiti on building he didn’t own

Last night around 10 p.m., Grant Henry, the local artist and owner of Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium, noticed some graffiti on a commercial building that, he says, “brought fear to the core of my being.”

Spray painted on the building near the intersection of Randolph and Irwin streets were the words “Fuck APD Riot 4 Trayvon.” He feared that the message could fuel anger after the verdict and help spark violence in the city, especially near the King Center.

Anger over the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin sparked a storm of passionate responses, particularly on social media in and around Atlanta.

“Many thoughts went through my head,” Henry recalled in a Facebook post early this morning outlining his actions and titled “Transparency.” “1: Who owns the building? 2. Could I be arrested for covering it up? 3. Is covering evil graffiti justified? 4. Should I call the city? 5. Should I get permission from someone?”

Henry raced home, grabbed some spray paint, stopped by his Old Fourth Ward bar to find a witness, and then covered up the inflammatory message. On the way back to his car, he decided to add a heart “to justify that my graffiti was not compounding the message of evil.” He’s willing to pay whoever owns the building to cover up the paint job. Henry, who looks down on vandalism (but noted the irony in this situation), told CL this morning that he understands that he might face consequences. But he felt that he had to paint over the message.

“I apologize to whomever, but I would probably do it again to try to nip danger in the bud and to ensure that the positive we are trying to build in our City is not lost to the ignorance of a few,” he wrote in the post.

After the jump, Henry’s full Facebook post, reprinted with permission.