Jelani Day mural back on display amid protest

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NORMAL (WEEK) — Dozens of people, including students, showed up Monday night to peacefully protest the town of Normal’s removal of a painting honoring late ISU grad student Jelani Day.

An artist painted the image of Day on the side of the Trail East building in Uptown Normal.

It was there for one day before town staffers took it down because the artist didn’t have a permit.

After learning about tonight’s protest, the mural was placed in a window on Beaufort Street, and a spokesperson said the town supports the protest.

However, rally attendees said the gesture was too late, and the painting should never have been removed in the first place.

“And a few hours later the town decided what they should’ve done in the very first place in casing the mural in plexiglass, framing it and putting it in the windows and memorialize Jelani in the way they originally wanted to,” said organizer Krystle Able.

“If this is the disrespect given to Jelani Day’s family, to Jelani Day, if that’s the normal that we have to live, that’s not the normal I want to be apart of,” said Doniven Hill-Bush, a student at ISU.

The town of Normal says the mural will remain in the window until it’s moved to a new location on the ISU campus.

“I think our intentions have been misconstrued because we removed the tribute piece and I think people believe we did that in an effort to try and sweep his story under the rug which is not the case at all,” said Cathy Oloffson, the Communications Director for the town.

Day was reported missing on August 25th, and his body was recovered from the Illinois River on September 4th.

The post Jelani Day mural back on display amid protest appeared first on WEEK.

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