Sheefy McFly, a 29-year-old muralist, painter, and musician, whose real name is Tashif Turner, was painting a mural for the City of Detriot when police arrested him on Friday, June 21, 2019.
According to The Detroit News, McFly, his assistant, his friend and two other people from the neighborhood were standing by a viaduct near 7 Mile and John R on the city’s northeast side when two female officers pulled up.
“The Cops ain’t realize they arrested the best Artist in Detroit,” Sheefy said on Twitter. “The Head of the Graffiti Task Force investigated me and asked what’s my tag name….I said I don’t do Graffiti I sell paintings. I’m a commissioned muralist.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Sheefy Was Hired by the City of Detroit
“I went to jail for painting a mural that the City of Detroit commissioned me to paint….” Sheefy announced in a tweet on Friday, June 21, 2019.
Mcfly was working on the Detroit Viaduct Beautification effort, which stems from the City Walls project. According to the city website, the goals of the City Walls project “are to highlight the values and the identity of the communities where the artwork is being created, empower Detroit artists, and to provide a positive cost-benefit to the public via art versus the cost of blight remediation. In recognizing that the number one goal is to highlight the values and the identity of the community, the program puts an emphasis on a reversed engineered approach to content development ensuring that the art develops organically and holistically within the community by the community.”
Sheefy McFly is a popular artist, boasting almost 8,000 followers on Instagram and almost 5,000 on Twitter. He has been gaining a lot of media attention over the altercation with Detroit police, as documented on his social media accounts.
“And with every station interviewer and news writer in my city they listened to me, they made me feel safe and they spoke to me & treated me like a human being,” Sheefy wrote on Twitter. “If the Police would’ve did that none of this wouldn’t have happened….”
2. Sheefy Was Arrested for a Traffic-Related Warrant & Suspicion of Resisting and Obstructing Police
The Detroit News reports that after running his name through the police database system, the officers learned that McFly was sought for a traffic-related warrant. When McFly told the officers that he was working on a city-commissioned mural they asked to see his permits, however, he said he didn’t have his permit with him.
A Detroit police spokesperson told the outlet that McFly began spraypainting a portion of the mural when the officers put their hands on his arms, one grabbing his neck. McFly reportedly said he removed the officer’s hand started to walk toward his bag to see if by chance he had his permit with him, however, the officers handcuffed him. Back-up officers arrived. McFly was put into the back of a police car and taken to the Detroit Detention Center.
“Worst thing about it is they humiliated me dog,” Sheefy wrote on Twitter. “They treated me like a criminal in front of my artwork I did for my city pulled up 7 Cars deep. They took me to jail n treated me like a felon. I’m just a Artist bro.”
3. Sheefy’s Mother Responded to the Incident
On Saturday, in a post on his Instagram page, Sheefy shared a message from his mother, Tayna Love. She was very clearly shaken by the ordeal.
“NEVER IN MY LIFE… would I thought that MY SON would be harassed, handcuffed, threatened by a tazer!” Love wrote. “DETROIT COPS PULLING UP ON HIM! FOR PAINTING A MURAL FOR THE CITY! THAT THE CITY COMMISSIONED HIM TO DO!”
Tayna and her son are obviously very close. She posted a picture on Facebook, one of her son’s tattoos, a heart with an arrow through it and a ribbon with the word “MOM” over the front.
“YES! HE’S OUT AND WELL!” She continued on in the post. “COULD have been much worse! He could have been KILLED over paint brushes and spray cans!”
4. People Are Reacting to the News on Social Media
Music producer and artist THE SEVENth shared a message on Twitter: “My friend is a painter from Detroit, Michigan. His name is Sheefy. He was commissioned by the City of Detroit to paint a mural, as he’s done before in many cities in the midwest. While doing his job (painting) Sheefy was approached by the police. They then harassed and arrested him… for doing his job (painting). It’s a slap in the face! The police work for the same people who paid Sheefy to paint… the City of Detroit. Thankfully, there are people who are helping shed light on this. We as a people don’t need any more roadblocks keeping us away from doing what we love. To all the brown kids out there, who have been harassed or mistaken for a criminal while you’re just doing your job and trying to survive…… I see you and keep up the fight!”
One Twitter user believes Sheefy was in the wrong, saying he should have had his permit, adding that he shouldn’t have been hired with an active warrant.
Another user said that Sheefy’s paintings have more meaning and value after the incident.
Another user suggested Sheefy file a lawsuit.
5. Sheefy is Also a Musciain
According to a video posted to YouTube several months ago, Sheefy is a musician as well as a muralist.
In a post on Instagram, Sheefy can be seen on stage at the Movement Detroit music festival. Sheefy said he wants an hour-long set when he returns next year.