Seattle, WA – King County has turned out hundreds of metro buses plastered with artwork supporting Black Lives Matter and George Floyd.
The project stemmed from the protests and riots that erupted across the country during the summer of 2020 in the wake of the in-custody death of Floyd in Minneapolis, KING reported.
The wrapped buses were designed by three King County Metro employees as an expression of their pain, according to the news outlet.
“I have a lot of emotion is going on with me over these, these, obviously a lot of people have over these last few years, especially this last year,” King County Metro custodian Juan Hood told KING. “The emotion swelled up inside me.”
“I got my pencil, got my pens and set down and put it to paper,” Hood said.
The images designed by Hood feature black people carrying signs with their fists raised in the air.
“I can’t breathe,” on subject’s shirt reads.
The slogans, “Stay Free” and “Black Lives Matter” are also prominently displayed, as well as the message, “We Live We Love We Black.”
Other buses have been decked out in bold-colored, graffiti-style block print “Black Lives Matter” messages.
Images of Floyd are plastered on more than 200 metro buses, accompanies with the phrases, “Say his name,” “I can’t breath[e] mama help!” and “Justice for George,” among others.
The depiction of Floyd is accompanied by images of Breonna Taylor and Aiyana Stanley-Jones.
Hood said he hopes the Black Lives Matter metro buses will spark more involvement and interest in the Black Lives Matter movement, KING reported.
“Let’s sit down with who we need to sit down with and hash out what needs to be done so that everyone can feel safe with one another,” he told KING.
King County Metro General Manager Terry White said in a press release that Metro transit is “honored to display these powerful artistic statements throughout Metro and the communities that are a part of our regional mobility system.”
“We acknowledge that it’s just a start — at Metro and in all of America. For us to make things right, we need to fully reconcile what’s gone wrong and what’s still not working,” the statement read. “At Metro, we are reimagining safety, security and fare enforcement. We are reaching out to members of the community, working with them to envision what a safe and welcoming Metro looks like for BIPOC members, and co-creating a system that serves and treats everyone fairly and with dignity.”
White said King County Metro is “honoring the lives lost” by “confronting systemic racism” and fighting back against it, and said Floyd is a person who should be “celebrated, recognized, and remembered.”
“George Floyd. Breonna Taylor. Ahmaud Arbery,” White wrote. “All of them are part of a tragic narrative: African Americans who lost their lives in large part because of the institutional racism deeply rooted in our country.”
“At Metro, we know Black Lives Matter,” White wrote, adding that the group is “America’s foremost human rights leader.”
“As people from around the world marched in the streets to call for change, we in King County were reminded of our obligation to recognize and address the systemic problems that our African American — and all of our BIPOC communities — face daily,” the King County Metro manager said.