Dallas officials say mural honoring slain police officers violates city code

A mural that was meant to be a tribute one year after five Dallas police officers were killed in a violent ambush has quickly become a troublesome headache.

The mural of six officers carrying a flag-covered casket, painted on an 8-foot fence erected on the property of the Last Call Lounge in downtown Dallas, violates city codes and will have to be altered or taken down, according to KXAS-TV. The lounge’s owner, Diana Paz, didn’t have a permit to use metal siding.

“We’re just trying to honor and respect the Dallas Police Department about what happened a year ago,” Paz told Fox News over the weekend. “The police officers, they are actually happy with the mural. They like that we show some respect to them, and basically the community has been accepting the mural pretty good.”

Cesar Rodriguez, the lounge’s operator and Paz’s cousin, installed the metal siding on a rod iron fence that already existed on the property when work began on the mural about a month ago.

After receiving the first violation notice, Rodriguez applied for a permit and hired workers to move the fence back three feet to increase visibility at the intersection, which the mural supposedly   blocked. All the alterations cost the lounge an additional $2,100 on top of the roughly $15,000 already spent, he said.

“I’m frustrated because we tried to do something for the police department. We tried to make the neighborhood look a little bit better,” he explained. “We feel a little bit sad that we’re doing all this for our city, and they don’t see or appreciate that.”

The painting pays tribute to the five Dallas officers slain during an attack on law enforcement during a Black Lives Matter rally in the city on July 7, 2016. Since the mural was completed last week, many have stopped by to drop off flowers, notes, and other tokens of appreciation for the law enforcement community.

Dallas spokesman Richard Hill told KXAS-TV that the mural is set to be reinspected on Aug. 2.

“Should the violation remain,” he said, “an additional citation may be issued.”