In 2021, student activists in Bloomington, Indiana received a permit to create a massive “Black Lives Matter” mural in their city. In response to this, members of the Turning Point USA chapter at Indiana University submitted an application to create an “All Lives Matter” mural. This application, however, was denied.
IU student and TPUSA campus coordinator Kyle Reynolds, along with the IU TPUSA chapter, sued the city of Bloomington in 2022, claiming that the city was biased in their decision to allow a "BLM" mural but deny an "All Lives Matter" mural.
The city has three murals containing the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” two put up by the city and one painted by IU students and volunteers. Street art falls under the jurisdiction of Bloomington’s Public Works Department, and murals must be approved because they require temporary closure of public areas.
In the lawsuit, both Reynolds and the IU chapter of Turning Point USA argued that the city is violating their First Amendment right of free speech and is not giving residents of the city the same opportunities. After the lawsuit reached federal court, a judge ordered the city to reconsider the mural without regard to its content.
But when the TPUSA chapter submitted an application once again to paint a mural, the city changed the rules for mural submissions. The city revised the requirements to state that murals cannot contain speech, and Bloomington rejected the All Lives Matter mural once again.
It appears that for now, the All Lives Matter mural will not be painted; however, the chapter at IU will continue to fight for equality and the opportunity to share a message just like the creators of the Black Lives Matter mural.