Name of police-shooting victim Miriam Carey added to Bed-Stuy BLM mural
Nayaba Arinde | 8/6/2020, midnight
As the community debated the reopening of the BLM-painted street along Harriet Ross Tubman Avenue/Fulton Street in Bed Stuy, creative Cey Adams used his art activism to add Miriam Carey to the dozens of names memorialized on the mural. The name of DC police victim Miriam Carey was added to the mural on July 30, 2020.
“I don’t want my sister to be forgotten, her name should be here. We were born and raised in Bed Stuy,” Valarie Carey Reaves-Bey old the Amsterdam News, as the artist Adams outlined his latest inclusion early Thursday morning, July 30.
On the following Sunday evening, Aug. 2, Carey Reaves-Bey held a candlelight vigil for her sister Miriam. As NYPD officers hovered in anticipation of re-opening the street (temporarily as it turned out), family friend Melody Fox welcomed a gathering of family and friends.
Miriam Carey died in a hail of 26 shots by Secret Service and Capitol Police on Oct. 3, 2013. The tragedy began when an off-duty Secret Service agent decided to use a metal barricade to stop her black Infiniti from driving close to––but leaving a restricted area a good distance away from––the White House in Washington, D.C.
While Miriam was fatally wounded, her 13-month-old baby who was sitting in the back, was luckily uninjured.
Valarie Carey Reaves-Bey, a retired NYPD sergeant said, “I feel overwhelmed, and I feel sad because it brings up the reason why we are here. But, I have a sense of happiness I guess if I can be happy about it, to see that her name has been included amongst the other names. It’s sad that her name is here, but it’s a good feeling to see that she’s being acknowledged, because for so long so many people haven’t really connected with Miriam Carey and the whole Black Lives Matter movement of people who have been killed unjustifiably by police.”
As Cey Adams completed his hours-long artistry, he was visited by dozens of curious residents; and the installation co-director Hollis King, and the man who initially commissioned the block-length Black Lives Matter and police brutality memorial mural Councilmember Robert Cornegy.
In a strange move though, without much of an announcement––and despite an original declaration that the plaza would be car-free all summer––the street was reopened two days later. It was closed a couple of hours later and reopened on Sunday night. And as residents complained, the street was closed almost immediately again on Monday morning.
“To be a Brooklynite, to live in Brooklyn, we––my sisters Amy, Miriam and I––all lived here for years and Restoration Plaza is some place we frequented often, so to be able to see Miriam’s name here means a lot,” said Carey Reaves-Bey.
Sharing the painted yellow rectangle with the name of Breonna Taylor, and next to Sean Bell and Trayvon Martin, gives impetus to Carey’s push to keep her sister’s story public, and even reopen her case she says.
“With her name being next to Breonna Taylor––she has received a lot of national attention, and rightfully so––so for those who aren’t aware from Miriam’s name it will give people the opportunity to research information on how she was unjustly killed…murdered because she was unarmed, and she was in not in the commission of a crime.”
The Amsterdam News asked how Miriam’s now seven-year-old daughter is doing? Carey responded of her niece, “She’s thriving––considering her mother was taken away from her. We are just staying faithful in knowing that justice will be served, because those that were involved in her death, in her killing, have not been publicly identified to the public people, so they have not been held accountable for their actions. I remain faithful that Miriam will receive the justice that she deserves.”
Meanwhile, the Bed-Stuy Mural Coalition will continue its weekend (through Labor Day weekend) community-involved programming with family-friendly entertainment and wellness activities. The following are already planned activities: Natalie Crosby’s Stacked Yoga, Brownsville Excellence Marching Band, Tonya Dean’s Skate-Aerobic; and the Brooklyn Crescent Lacrosse Team. Expected events include: Friday’s Gospel Night; New York Fellowship Mass Choir; Smif-n-Wessun; The Black Yacht Rock Club, a Caribbean-themed night and DJ Hard Hittin Harry.