EUGENE, Ore.-- After a new mural popped up in downtown Eugene this week, many people are speaking out about the meaning behind it.
KEZI 9 News spoke to Shayla Landeros, the ex-wife of Charles Landeros, the person depicted at the top of the painting. Saturday was the first time she saw the mural in person.
“I think it's a representation that's kind of honoring Charlie in what he did in attempting to kill a police officer,” Shayla said. “That's all I see, and there's no purpose for him to be in any kind of picture or mural with a police officer ever. He tried to kill a police officer, and I think that there are some people who want to overlook that little fact.”
This comes over a year after Landeros was killed outside of Cascade Middle School, when they pulled a handgun and shot at officers.
Police were trying to arrest Landeros for causing a disturbance during a custody dispute involving their child, who witnessed the shooting.
The Lane County District Attorney ruled the shooting as justified.
"Those cops are heroes,” Shayla said. “They saved their own lives that day, but they saved who knows how many other lives from stray bullets that Charlie didn't have control of. Now they're under all this pressure from the community as if they did something wrong, and it's not fair."
Charles is seen speaking through a bullhorn at the top of the mural. There is also a police officer in a blue uniform next to what some people believe is a pig. However, the Lane Arts Council told KEZI 9 News it is a Calla Lily flower.
Shayla said one of the most upsetting things about the mural is that no one had the decency to give her family a warning that it was being created. Not only does she feel blindsided, but also devastated that her children had to see it for the time on the television.
“It makes me very angry,” Shayla said. “It's so disrespectful. I don't know who allowed this to happen, but it needs to be taken down.”
She said the mural is “reopening wounds," and she wants it to be taken down immediately before it does anymore damage.
“Charlie's not a hero,” Shayla said. “He's an attempted murderer. This needs to be removed.”
KEZI 9 News reached out to the city for comment about the mural. They said the goal of this project was to create a space for multicultural voices and to build trust.
Officials said the mural was designed as part of "Fiesta Cultural,” which is a celebration of Latinx arts, culture and heritage. The city of Eugene is one of 15 sponsors of the program, and they pitched in $500 which ended up being one fifth of the total cost. The remaining money was provided by the Lane Arts Council to create the mural.
The city also said this mural used a different process than other public art processes and was largely community-driven. They said a committee of Indigenous and Latin American community members worked with the mural artist Rodolfo Redstone Serna to design it.
KEZI 9 News reached out to Rodolfo Redstone Serna for more information about the meaning behind the mural located in an alley at 744 West Park Street in Eugene.
Stay with KEZI 9 News for updates.