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George Floyd Statue Is Vandalized in alleged hate crime, officials say



George Floyd Statue Is Vandalized in alleged hate crime, officials say


The destruction of a new George Floyd statue in New York is being investigated as a potential hate crime, according to officials, who claim vandals defaced the memorial with the website of a white nationalist organization.

Black spray paint was applied on the statue’s face and over the inscription on the base. The name of a website was painted on the pedestal using white spray paint.

The New York Police Department reported that around 3:40 a.m., four individuals spray-painted Floyd’s face black and scrawled “PATRIOTFRONT.US” on Thursday.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the site painted on the pedestal promotes Patriot Front, a “white nationalist hate group.”

Floyd’s brother, Terrence, unveiled the monument on Juneteenth, a newly-declared federal holiday honoring the end of slavery in the United States. The six-foot monument is presently on display on Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue before being moved to Union Square in Manhattan in July.

Imani Henry, a key organizer with Equality for Flatbush, a local community organization that opposes gentrification and battles police brutality, stated, “It’s at the epitome of not only anti-Blackness and racism, but it is also about the lack of even basic human decency about the life of George Floyd.”


Mr. Henry said, “For someone to desecrate an innocent person’s tribute is just beyond the pale.”

Surveillance footage of the incident was released by the NYPD.

Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City described the damage as a “despicable act of hate.”

“Last night a far-right extremist group vandalized a statue of George Floyd in Brooklyn. A racist, loathsome, despicable act of hate,” de Blasio tweeted Thursday afternoon. “The City Cleanup Corps is repairing the statue right now and a hate crime investigation is underway. We will bring these cowards to justice.”

Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted Thursday, “To the group of neo-Nazis who did this, I want to be absolutely clear: get the hell out of our state.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has ordered the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to help with the inquiry.

“New York’s new monument to George Floyd, which was unveiled in Brooklyn just this past weekend, on Juneteenth, is more than just a memorial for a father, a son, and a friend — it’s a testament to the grief, anger, and righteous energy that his murder sparked, in our state and across the country. It’s a beacon for all who believe progress is possible, and in our ability to make it happen,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Officials in Newark, the largest city in New Jersey and one with a sizable Black population, said they were looking into a similar incident involving a monument of Mr. Floyd outside City Hall. The Newark monument, like the one in Brooklyn, was vandalized with spray paint and tagged with Patriot Front graffiti.

“The defacing of the statue of George Floyd has been a trend around the country,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka stated. “This horrible act is the very reason that this statue needs to remain and be upheld. As this is not just about George Floyd, it’s a deliberate effort to push back against and ultimately dismantle systems of hatred, racism, and white supremacy.”

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of killing George Floyd, was sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison on Friday.

Chris Carnabuci, the artist who made the sculpture as part of a project remembering Mr. Floyd’s murder and the attention it brought to continuing racism in the criminal justice system, said, “I’m saddened by it.”

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