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Baltimore IG can't prove removal of Black Lives Matter painting was racially motivated

Posted at 12:52 PM, Oct 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-01 12:55:01-04

BALTIMORE — Baltimore City's Inspector General could not substantiate a complaint that a Black Lives Matter painting removed from Patterson Park in July was racially motivated.

The findings were revealed in a report released Thursday by the IG.

According to the report, the employee in question was accused of making past homophobic slurs and offensive remarks about Latin Americans.

In denying the remarks, the employee told the IG that he's actually a member of the LGBTQ community and engaged to an African American.

The IG also interviewed an African American co-worker, who vouched for the employee claiming he wasn't racist just, "uneducated about cultural and racial differences and unaware that certain comments and behaviors can be offensive to individuals from other ethnic groups, cultures."

As for the removal of the painting, the IG found that the employee and co-worker both took part in its removal after not seeing it on an authorization list.

RELATED: Permitted BLM artwork removed and damaged by city employees

After Baltimore City Recreation and Parks Management halted the painting's removal, both employees returned to Patterson Park and reinstalled what had been taken away.

The IG couldn't prove racism as a motive, over a lack of independent evidence to corroborate the allegations. The IG also couldn't conclude that management had been made aware of remarks, allegedly made by the employee in the past.

A violation the IG did prove, is that the employee twice went outside their scope of work, for which management was notified.

In response to the investigation, Rec and Parks claimed the employee is no longer working for the city.