Dallas mural honoring fallen officers violates city codes

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A mural erected a month ago to honor five law enforcement officers who died in a sniper attack in downtown Dallas must be taken down or altered because it violates city code, according to city inspectors.

The 8-foot (2.4-meter) fence on which the mural was painted was built without a permit for metal siding and the fence blocks visibility at a nearby four-way intersection, according to a violation notice issued May 25.

As soon as he received the notice, Cesar Rodriguez, who operates the Last Call Lounge where the mural is erected, applied for a permit to build the fence and use the metal siding and hired workers to move the fence back 3 feet (1 meter). Rodriguez said the initial project cost about $15,000, and that the alterations cost a further $2,100.

"I'm frustrated because we tried to do something for the police department. We tried to make the neighborhood look a little bit better," he said. "We feel a little bit sad that we're doing all this for our city and they don't see or appreciate that."

The Dallas Department of Code Compliance confirmed Thursday that a citation was issued, but declined to comment. Inspectors have yet to assess whether the alterations meet compliance standards.

The painting pays tribute to the five law enforcement officers who were shot to death during an attack at a Black Lives Matter rally in Dallas on July 7, 2016. Flowers, notes and other tokens have been left at the mural regularly since it was unveiled Monday, Rodriguez said.