Artwork ordered to be removed

Local attorney asked to remove tribute painting

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A painting that was displayed outside of Jacksonville attorney John Phillips' law office on Ortega Boulevard was removed Friday night.

Phillips told Channel 4 that he was asked by the property owner to take the painting down.

Phillips represents Jordan Davis' family, the teen who was shot and killed by Michael Dunn outside of a Southside gas station in 2012.

Phillips contracted a local artist to create the painting after giving him a Rolling Stone article about Davis' death. Phillips intended to keep the painting up outside of his office during the trial.

Property Owner Doriana d'Aragona Atkinson sent Philips an email Friday, asking him to remove the painting.

"John, I have received multiple calls about a sign that has been placed on my property," the email (pictured, below) read. "Please have the sign removed before the end of the day today. Your prompt cooperation will be greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Doriana d'Aragona Atkinson."

Phillips sent Channel 4 a response Friday night about the painting's removal:

"The art was not illuminated and was merely designed to be up for trial. It had no verbal messages and was simply a tribute-art designed by another. We had no intent to upset anyone or violate any sign ordinance, nor did we receive anything but positive feedback.

"Under Sec. 326.102 of the municipal code, 'Sign' means 'any structure or device which is placed, erected, constructed or maintained on or in the ground or outside of an enclosed building or other object or structure or affixed or painted on or inside an exterior window of a building for the purpose of display, information, advertisement or attraction of the attention of persons, including posters, pictures, pictorial or reading matter and a letter, word, model, device or representation used in the nature of an advertisement, announcement, attraction or direction. It is not a 'sign.' It is not an advertisement, announcement, attraction or direction. We will consult with the city and appropriate lawyers as needed, as our lease is silent to this issue.

"We value our relationship with Ms. Atkinson, but under the circumstances, would have appreciated more professional response."

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