SELAH, Wash. (AP) — A city attorney in a small town near Yakima said a family who has put Black Lives Matter chalk art on their street could face prosecution if they do it again.
In a letter to Laura Perez’s attorney, Selah City Attorney Rob Case said using chalk to draw on a public street constitutes gross misdemeanor malicious mischief, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.
“The city does not desire to prosecute anyone over this, but neither will the city give repeated warnings ad nauseum or let your clients (or anyone else) create unauthorized graffiti on public property with impunity,” Case wrote to attorney Joseph Cutler.
Perez said Cutler is currently reviewing Case’s letter.
Starting June 7, some of Perez’s family and others drew Black Lives Matter chalk art on the dead-end street. Each time, a city public works crew has washed it away.
The city has been the focus of protests since City Administrator Don Wayman described Black Lives Matter supporters as “devoid of intellect and reason.”
Case said the city removed the chalk after receiving complaints, and would do the same to chalk art that supported President Donald Trump.
“Selah is not Seattle. The laws will be enforced in Selah,” Case said.
In a statement, the ACLU of Washington criticized prosecuting people for using chalk to express political opinions on public streets and sidewalks, saying it raises potential First Amendment concerns.