Julie Torres was painting a watercolor mural on a piece of paper hung on a Williamsburg construction wall when she was arrested by undercover cops for "graffiti" this summer. Score one for law and order over harmless art!
Hyperallergic has Torres' entire, Kafkaesque story. It's pretty much stupid, top to bottom. (Not on her part).
The police confiscated hundreds of dollars of her art materials - according to the police report "43 tubes of paint, 22 containers of foil paper, and 2 palettes from the defendant's bag" (though Torres said she didn't have any foil so she doesn't know what the officer saw) - which they are still holding as evidence. They eventually returned Torres's damaged paintings, which they had crumpled up and placed in a plastic bag. The police report says the following [emphasis mine], "police officer Gedeon Dieudonne Shield No. 203, of 094 Command that at the above time and place, informant observed defendant painting shapes and rainbows on the boundary fence of a city-owned piece of plowed land."
The Vandal Squad: Keeping boundary fences clear of rainbows for far too long now.