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Denver artists create murals featuring Elijah McClain, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor

Local artists want our community to see the faces of three individuals who died in incidents with police. That includes Elijah McClain, who was killed in Aurora.

DENVER — While thousands of people attended protests in downtown Denver following the death of George Floyd, some local artists chose to memorialize him and others killed in incidents with police through murals around town.

Artists Detour and Hiero Viega, who said they wanted to use color to breathe life back to society, have painted three vibrant murals in Denver since last week:

  • One for Floyd, who died in May after an officer held a knee to Floyd's neck while he was restrained on the ground. The mural is on East Colfax Avenue between High and Race streets.
  • One for Breonna Taylor, who was shot and killed in March in Louisville, Ky., when officers executed a search warrant in her home. The mural is at 29th and Walnut streets. 
  • One for Elijah McClain, who went into cardiac arrest after being put in a carotid hold by Aurora Police officers last year. Aurora just announced the city opened a review of his case. The mural is at 30th and Walnut, behind Epic Brewery. 

"For me, I always tell artists that we are the visual historians of current times, so really using our artwork to tell what’s happening in our current time," Detour said.

Also on Colfax, Kenny Hughes and Tommy Nahulu decided to turn to art after watching the area turn violent during Denver's early protests. They said they wanted to show solidarity with those who have protested peacefully.

“I’m trying to bring people together, for sure,” Hughes said. “I just want people to realize that we're all people and everyone deserves the same love on this planet. That's what most important is love.”

This mural can only be seen from the sky, as it was painted on a rooftop near Colfax and Clarkson street, next to the Denver Police Department’s District 6 station. The artists wanted the painting to be free from vandalism on the street, but also visible from 9NEWS’ Sky9 helicopter if the protests spilled onto Colfax again.

A Twitter user also shared a picture of another Taylor mural painted recently in Louisville, Colo.

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