Latosha Clemons filed a complaint in April 2021, saying she approved the use of her picture for the mural that was authorized by the City Art Commission in 2019. However, it was noted that Clemons’ face along with another Black former fire chief named Glenn Joseph, were replaced with white faces. The complaint also stated that Clemons became the first Black female firefighter for the city in 1996.
The attorney for Clemons—Nicole Hunt Jackson, spoke on the matter during a press conference. Jackson went on to call out City Manager Lori LaVerriere, saying, “We found out the city manager was aware of the decision to whitewash the face of Clemons. The city has put up the original mural, but the damage to Ms. Clemons has already been done.” Clemons spoke on the matter, saying she’s “still baffled by this entire experience.” She continued saying, “I’m having difficulty sleeping. All involved in making the decision to change that art should be held accountable. This can’t be swept under the rug.”
LaVerriere went on to note the commission will meet in a closed-door session to discuss the matter. As of now, Clemons is seeking $30,000 in damages. Along with that, she requested a trial by jury if the mediation doesn’t bring a settlement as the outcome.