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Detroit police issue arrest charges for ‘Hope’ poster artist Shepard Fairey

Detroit might want to bring Robocop back out of hibernation. The city has a new wanted felon to catch.

Though he can’t be too hard to find…

The lawbreaker in question is world famous street artist Shepard Fairey. Yes, he behind those now annoyingly generic OBEY baseball caps and Barack Obama’s iconic Hope campaign poster, and who might want to call in a return favour from the US president.

According to The New York Timesauthorities in Detroit have issued a warrant for his arrest, charging him with two felony counts of malicious destruction of property. The announcement comes following a visit to the city by Fairey back in May, where he was over to create a sanctioned mural, and, police claim, also found time to illegally tag a series of buildings, causing over £7,000 of property damage by pasting posters over them.

While it’s not exactly his first rodeo - despite being a savvy cultural artist and ludicrously successful legitimate businessman, the urban designer has already been arrested 15 times in his career – the charges reportedly involve a heavy fine and a maximum penalty of five years jail time. Not just a slap on the wrist then.

Sgt. Rebecca McKay didn’t do anything to allay the artist’s fears either, telling reporters, “Just because he is a well-known artist does not take away the fact that he is also a vandal – and that’s what we consider was done, in these instances, was vandalism.”

Given that the story could take myriad turns in the coming days, we’ll be checking his progress on Twitter in case he comes out of hiding. Maybe all he needs to do is to Tweet a big apology. Or offer to give everyone in the city one of his baseball caps.

You can’t say Fairey than that.

[Image: Damian Dovarganes]