THE LAST SUPPER
#GunViolence #SchoolShootings #PoliceBrutality
This installation covers a wide area of the garden, with the center existing as a bright red, metal table covered in toys, cups, plates, and a large black flag. Surrounding the table are red chairs, each with a photo and a name: Tamir Rice, Oscar Grant, Philando Castile. These names represent people in the chairs who were victims of police brutality. Circling the table are broken televisions, every one with a printed news article regarding a school shooting. Hanging around the perimeter are last words of people who lost their lives at the hand of a police officer. "I can't breathe," says Eric Garner.
Content compiled by Hannah Earnhardt
IMPACT ON BURTON STREET COMMUNITY
Gun violence from police shootings impacts people of color more than any other group of people. As Burton Street is a historically Black community, police brutality and violence are important issues to tackle. Johnnie Rush, an Asheville citizen, was brutally beaten by a police officer after jaywalking in August 2017. In 2018, the City of Asheville paid damages to Rush for the maltreatment he received. Bringing attention to these violent acts is essential for a universal understanding of the problem.
Memorializing and honoring lives that have been lost to such cruelty, this art installation humanizes the victims even as the news media worked diligently to frame them only as criminals. The U.S. police force killed 1,166 people within 2018 alone. Some armed and dangerous, some not. Track police violence across the nation.
Communicating factual information is essential for change to take place. Without knowledge of the legislation that impacts our communities, citizens can be taken advantage of.
"Compared to the rest of the United States, Asheville’s crime rate is . . . twice as high as the national average which is a huge difference." Read the rest of Rachel Lacono's response to The Last Supper.
STORIES FROM THE GARDEN
“Police brutality is something that African Americans fear daily. But it's more than that: it’s what comes after too. Families, especially children, are left to mourn”
“To fix this issue, there will have to be much more education and maybe even a rewriting of some police procedures.”
“This is also a topic that is brushed aside, considering that there have been about 223 African Americans killed in just in 2018 by members of the police.”
". . . happening right here in Asheville. On August 25th, 2017, a Mr. Johnnie Jermaine Rush was unjustly beaten, tased, choked and arrested for allegedly jay walking and trespassing on the corner of Biltmore Ave." Read the rest of Emmaleigh Moriniti's response to The Last Supper.
CALL TO ACTION
Communities are being negatively affected by police and school shootings across the United States. How do we enact change?
Racial disparity among victims of police violence has led Asheville to create programs that train community leaders to combat their biases and recognize racial inequalities.