Miami Beach removes art piece honoring man fatally shot by police

Mayor says city paid for art show, so it had final say

By Christian De La Rosa - Reporter

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. - A piece of art honoring the life of a man who was shot and killed by police was removed from a wall on Miami Beach, and it's stirring up controversy.  

The art piece was meant to serve as a memorial for Raymond Herisse. 

The 22-year-old Haitian-American was fatally shot by police officers during Memorial Day weekend in 2011 after he was chased by police for allegedly driving recklessly.

Officers were found justified in the shooting and were not charged.

Artist Rodney Jackson said his art piece had a purpose.

"Connect his story with the audience that was coming through that weekend," he said.   

But his artwork was removed from the city of Miami Beach ReFrame art exhibit on Lincoln Road over this past Memorial Day weekend at the request of the city manager.

"The purpose of the ReFrame cultural programming this past weekend was to create an opportunity for inclusiveness and mutual exchange," a representative from the city said in a statement. "The city manager felt that the panel in the one particular art installation regarding the incidents of Memorial Day weekend in 2011 did not achieve this objective."

"It really wasn't what we expected," Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said. "We were trying to be more uniting than dividing."

Gelber said the city paid for the art show, so the city had the final say.

He said it was the right decision. 

"There wasn't any violence, there wasn't any profanity, there wasn't really anything disrespectful," Jackson said. "It was simply a memorial to someone who had passed away. I don't know how that can be construed as non-inclusive unless we were memorializing the wrong type of person."

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