Black Lives Matter White House painting captured by Olmstead

Black Lives Matter’s color spans two blocks that lead directly to the White House.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – After days of unrest in the capital of our nation, the road to the White House looks new. The words Black Lives Matter in giant yellow letters span two blocks of 16th Street.

A longtime friend and former WHAS11 photojournalist covered the protests in DC all week. Craig Olmstead said Friday was the first day of peace he had seen since it began.

“Today is the first day it’s quiet,” said Olmstead. “I mean, if you listen, you won’t hear anything. It’s peaceful.”

That hadn’t always been the case in the past seven days.

“I’m emotionally busy,” said Olmstead. “I’ll be honest with you. The past few days have been nothing but clashes with police and protesters. You have these big fences in front of the White House. The National Guard would normally be here. The protesters would continue here.” this fence trying to get him to run over, throwing bottles and provoking the police. “

But on Friday the focus was on the sidewalk and the buckets of yellow paint that covered it with a message direct from the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser.

“We see a mural on the street that says ‘Black Lives Matter,'” said Olmstead.

Huge yellow letters that take over a two-lane road that leads straight to the White House. The city crews installed a new street sign with the same words on Friday afternoon.

“Unlike what I’m usually used to, tear gas, protesters, cops trying to come up to you, protesters yelling at you, it’s surreal,” said Olmstead. “I feel like I’m not even standing in front of the White House. The police had little police barricades blocking the street. They actually moved them so they could continue the painting of the Black Lives Matter, which I thought was pretty profound. “

It started with some artists before the sun rose, and in the morning dozens of volunteers rolled out the paint before the road was reopened to traffic at 11am

“They want to take a stand, they want physical change,” said Olmstead. “You don’t want to wait for it. You want it now. I have a feeling that this demonstration that you are doing, and your call to arms and in front of the White House of all places, I think it helps to breathe a sound.” a national tone that gives people the idea that they will not bear this. “

Olmstead said he was happy to report such a large move.

“They will not take an unarmed black man to be killed unjustifiably. They will not take it anymore,” said Olmstead. “And I’m happy. I’m happy that something is being done and I’m happy to be able to report it because it’s a moment in history.”

Craig Olmstead is the son of longtime WHAS11 journalist Chuck Olmstead.

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