LeBron James Says "It's All Good" After Reefa Graffiti Sprayed on Billboard Across from Arena

Categories: Flotsam

LeBron_Reefa_Instagram_credit_TMNK.jpg
TMNK via Instagram
A TMNK painting nearly identical to his billboard graffiti bomb
Remember when the Miami Heat wore hoodies in honor of Travyon Martin? Well, now another slain teenager's name is on the lips of LeBron James and company after a graffiti artist's audacious stunt.

Heat players arriving to American Airlines Arena this weekend were welcomed by huge, white letters splashed across an NBA2K14 billboard. Bahamanian artist TMNK had scrawled "Nobody Can Stop Me!" near an image of LeBron before adding the now famous tag #RIPReefa in honor of fatally Tased teen Israel Hernandez.

"It's all good," James said when asked about the image. "It's part of culture."

See also: Teenager Israel Hernandez Dies After Miami Beach Cops Catch Him Tagging, Taser Him

Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report appears to be the first person to snap a picture of the spray-painted sign.

In addition to asking James about the homage, he spoke to TMNK -- short for the The Me Nobody Knows -- about his high-risk stunt.

"Relatively uncomplicated," TMNK told Bleacher Report of his graffito. That is, until he was arrested afterwards.

"Nobody can stop LeBron as a basketball player, nobody can stop me as a street artist, and nobody can stop Israel Hernandez's life and his message. He lives on," he said.

LeBron_Reefa_credit_Ethan_Skolnick_Bleacher_Report.png
Ethan Skolnick of Bleacher Report
TMNK's alterations on a billboard across from AAA
TMNK also told Skolnick that his throw-up "was not a shot at police." Instead, "it's about someone who lost his life unnecessarily."

As soon as TMNK stepped down from the billboard, Miami Police arrested him on 13 counts of criminal mischief -- one for each of the cars his paint had dripped on. He was released on $65,000 bond.

TMNK told Bleacher Report that he was "remorseful" for damaging the cars, but not the billboard.

"I took a risk to make a statement," he said. "I never try to be malicious with what I do."

On Friday, friends and family members of Israel Hernandez delivered a letter to prosecutors demanding the arrest of Miami Beach Police officer Jorge Mercado, the cop who fatally Tasered Reefa on August 6.

Will LeBron James and the Heat embrace Reefa's cause the way they did Travyon Martin? Maybe not, but at least they're now aware of it.

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13 comments
Justin Roig
Justin Roig

^ 'Imbeciles'? Says the guy who apparently went to "Ben Dover High"? Hmmmm.

verdisvioletta
verdisvioletta

Nice job. You ruined 13 paint jobs that are private property to "make a statement" about the Reefa case. This was NOT about Reefa and does nothing to help that situation. In fact, this is the kind of thing that hurts his cause in the eyes of the public and discredits real street art by crossing into vandalism territory. You have only served to move the needle of public perception in a negative way. It is this type of negative support that puts off people who can actually help investigate his death from a legalistic standpoint because those people do not want to be allied with this kind of lowbrow hucksterism. This was about YOU getting your name out there with a shitty and ill conceived throw up that frankly looks like complete garbage. I would be EMBARRASSED to have my name attached to such a piece of crap. Congratulations. Now you will have a levy from the state that will garnish your wages until you can pay back the 64K. Way to fight the system bro. You sir, are a moron.    

Osmar Casas
Osmar Casas

So over the whole reefa thing. The little shit got what he deserved if he didn't break the law then he wouldn't have gotten tasered to death. Good riddance, now if they can just do the same to the rest of these imbeciles/street artists.

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

It’s a crime, not art!  Graffiti, it’s everywhere.On freeway bridges, bus stops maybe your own property. But getting rid of it is a never-ending, expensive process.

Instead of promoting the defacing of private property, violence and disrespect to the police officers, people should use a little common sense. It is not difficult to understand that all human beings have the capacity to differentiate right from wrong and the capacity to understand that actions have consequences, without forgetting that the first action is what leads to what then will follow. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN RIGHT, SO WHEN THEY GO OUT TO SOCIETY THEY CANNOT REGRET THEIR ACTIONS LATER.

internetinternet
internetinternet

The police did the owners of the private vehicles a favor.  If they choose they can go after the offender in civil court. 

Lam Nguyen
Lam Nguyen

So destroying more property like "Reefa" was doing is going to help? Idiots.

Brian Smith
Brian Smith

Like the president they need to keep their personal thoughts to themselves. "Never mix business and pleasure"

Palangana
Palangana topcommenter

$65,000?  Seems excessive.

drakemallard
drakemallard topcommenter

@Agostinho Joel DeBraganza  

 Teenager painting on walls is grounds for shots fired and or electrocution..this my friends is why we rate last in education. Just plain dumb. This is not art it is Criminal Damage to property and this little criminal decided to fight the law and as the song goes the law won. People are cheering for this persons deviant behavior. Our society is circling the drain of it's own destruction. It's called vandalism. Then fleeing and alluding. If you want to express yourself do it on a canvas or your mothers house. So let me get this straight, if the graffiti kid complied, didn't run away, and listed to the police officers request to stop, he would be alive today. Sounds to me if you comply, do as the police say, take the arrest and possibly fight your charges in court, you will more than likely come out of this situation without being tased

ignoranceisabliss
ignoranceisabliss

@drakemallard what is and isnt art is subjective to each person 

graff has been around since the late 70s 

watch a documentary like style wars or research about the culture and then give an insight on how you view it instead of criticizing from pure ignorance

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