Brooklyn art installation draws attention to police brutality

BROOKLYN -- An artist is calling attention to police brutality by creating sports jerseys in honor of African Americans killed by police and displaying them in an art installation on the streets of Brooklyn.

Artist Raafi Rivero made his first jersey back in 2013 to honor Trayvon Martin.

"I think about how often our sports heroes are deified, people root for black people for wearing a jersey, but won't root for us normally so I felt maybe if I let him on a team, people would notice, they would care," Rivero said.

Since then the series of large scale vinyl prints hung up along Flatbush Avenue has grown to 13 in all.

"There's a saying in the protests, all we're asking is for them to stop killing us and this project exists because people wont stop doing that," Rivero said.

Rivero followed up that first jersey with two more for Michael Brown and Eric Garner and he has been adding to the installation, titled "Unarmed," ever since.

"We push them up, it's like I'm touching George Floyd, making sure he looks good. It's a very gratifying, emotionally cathartic experience to have a physical artifact of it," Rivero said.

Rivero puts a lot of time and effort into deciding what each jersey will look like.

"If there are stars on the jersey that's the number of bullets used to kill the person," Rivero said.

The color of each jersey is tied to each victim's local sports team.

"I think about how often our sports heroes are deified, people root for black people for wearing a jersey but won't root for us normally so I felt maybe if I let him on a team, people would notice, they would care," Rivero said.

For more, check out the installation's website.