DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – It was painted to honor the five officers who died during the July 7, 2016 Dallas police ambush.
But a mural on Monday night was torn down after the City of Dallas filed a lawsuit against the property owner.
The painting in question was located in North Oak Cliff at the Last Call Lounge on Centre Street.
The mural listed the names of the five fallen officers, including Patrick Zamarripa who patrolled the southwest division.
“It makes me sad because he’s not here anymore,” said Valerie Zamarripa, the mother of Patrick Zamarripa. “I miss him so much.”
Valerie found out about the mural was in jeopardy a few days ago and worked to help find a solution.
“It keeps him alive so nobody ever, ever forgets,” said Valeria Zamarripa. “I feel like Dallas has bigger issues to deal with than to be dealing with this.”
A work crew unscrewed and removed each section of the mural as the sun began to set on Monday.
The 90-foot art installment was reduced to a stack of metal within 30 minutes.
“Why is the city picking on this mural? Do they not see what it represents?” questioned Zamarripa.
The City of Dallas said the fence, not the mural, at Last Call Lounge violates code and can conceal illegal activity.
The city said compliance officers cited the owner May 2017, captured pictures of the unpainted fence in June 2017 and believe the mural was painted July 2017, which marked one year since the deadly ambush.
“We thought we were doing something right and something nice for the city. We never thought we were going to have these kind of issues,” said Cesar Paz, who owns Last Call Lounge.
Paz claims he did not receive a notice of violation until after it was painted, but cannot afford to fight the city anymore.
“It was for our officers, now you know it’s gone,” said Paz.
The deconstructed mural now sits at the Dallas office of the National Latino Law Enforcement Organization which will find a new permanent spot on its grounds.
When asked about the status of the pending lawsuit now that the fence is down, a spokesperson for the City of Dallas said a public records request would need to be filed in order to release that information.