Charges dropped against Detroit artist Sheefy McFly

click to enlarge Sheefy McFly. - Emad Rashidi
Emad Rashidi
Sheefy McFly.

Detroit artist Sheefy McFly will not face charges following his arrest by Detroit Police last week.

McFly, whose real name is Tashif Turner, was arrested on June 19 after being mistaken for vandalizing a viaduct east of Seven Mile Road and John R when in fact the 29-year-old artist was completing a mural, his first of 10 commissioned works by the city of Detroit as part of City Walls — a beautification initiative launched in 2017 that aims to deter graffiti.

“After further review and investigation of the totality of the circumstances, we decided to not move forward with the submission of the warrant,” DPD spokeswoman Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood said in a statement to The Detroit Free Press. 

The arrest followed an encounter with police during which Turner failed to present a copy of the City Walls-provided permit, a document he had already shown to inquiring police officers on his first day of work.

When Turner went to retrieve his bag in search of the permit to present to the new set of officers, police attempted to cuff him. The arresting officers called for backup and, when requested by Turner, they reached out to City Walls coordinator Zachary Meers who had approved the artist's permit. However, police had already drudged up a pre-existing warrant for Turner's arrest stemming from a year-old traffic violation.

“I just kept my composure because I felt like if I actually got angry, they can shoot," McFly told Metro Times following the incident. "Like, they will shoot me or they will beat me and I'm gonna still go to jail.”

Turner spent 24 hours in a detainment facility following his arrest. According to the Free Press, he is scheduled to appear in court on July 3 to resolve the outstanding traffic violation.

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