NYPD Arrests Artist Painting Message of Support for Unhoused Man

Helena Münninghoff getting arrested by NYPD on Sunday, April 16 (photograph by John Quilty, all pictures courtesy Stop Shopping Choir)

A Lower East Side lady was arrested yesterday, April 16, after portray a message looking for assist for an unhoused buddy on a inexperienced development fence barricading an empty lot. The Village Sun reported that 57-year-old Helena Münninghoff, a previously unhoused resident of the neighborhood, had painted the phrases “HELP RICKY … BACK ON HIS FEET” on the nook of Third Street and Avenue C in Manhattan in help of her buddy, Ricky Cole, who’s recovering from spinal surgical procedure and within the course of of regaining his mobility.

Less than an hour later, two patrol vehicles have been on the scene and Münninghoff was in handcuffs after the police discovered her portray on the fence, which had lengthy been scrawled on and stripped of tattered previous wheat-pasted posters. The Stop Shopping Choir of Reverend Billy, an NYC-based efficiency group whose secular pop-up challenge generally known as Earth Church was internet hosting a “sainting” close by, approached the scene in protest of Münninghoff’s arrest, criticizing the attending officers for losing tax {dollars} and never having something higher to do.

Münninghoff advised the Village Sun concerning the rocky begin to her friendship with Cole, who had initially attacked her following the demise of his mom in 2015, in addition to her life as a previously unhoused resident within the East Village. When requested if she was an artist, Münninghoff, a longtime fixture of the neighborhood contemplating how she greeted a number of associates passing by throughout her interview, shrugged and simply mentioned she was a “human being.”

Münninghoff’s portray (photograph by Francisca Benitez)

A video of the arrest and adjoining protest shared with Hyperallergic exhibits at the least 5 officers in a circle round Münninghoff, who had already been restrained, earlier than escorting her into the closest patrol automotive to get booked in on the ninth Precinct “just down the block.” The protestors started chanting “Let her go, let her go” as soon as Münninghoff was seated within the again of the car, stating that this was her neighborhood.

The New York Police Department didn’t instantly reply to Hyperallergic’s request for remark.

As the car holding Münninghoff peeled out of the block, the group started singing Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir’s authentic track, “Now Bird,” protesting the social-environmental impacts of “Cop City” in Atlanta, Georgia.

Münninghoff was held in a cell on the ninth Precinct for almost 4 hours till she agreed to simply accept a desk look ticket. Upon her launch, Münninghoff stood by her actions, stating that she had by no means been arrested earlier than.

“I’ve worked here in good faith,” she advised the Village Sun. “There’s a homeless man that I’m helping. I was trying to tell them this, but they didn’t have the patience to listen.”

Savitri D, the director of Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Choir, advised Hyperallergic that Münninghoff was an amazing, caring neighbor to the Earth Church, and he or she’s “always out there sweeping and cleaning [the block] and keeping it nice, talking to folks.”

“That block was under scaffolding for years and that wall is usually covered with wild posters,” Savitri continued. “They put them up in broad daylight all the time no problem, mostly fashion and big label music — the wall never stays bare longer than a day or two … And here she is, making a community announcement and boom! Typical over-response by the NYPD.”

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