A statue of George Floyd installed in Brooklyn was vandalized – spray painted with a white supremacist group’s logo less than a week after it was unveiled.
The statue, which had been unveiled on Saturday in honor of Juneteenth, was defaced early on Thursday with black spray paint, and stenciled with the website and logo for Patriot Front, a white-supremacist group, police said.
It came a day before Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murder in the killing of Floyd, is set to face sentencing.
Four men are suspected to have taken part in the vandalism, with surveillance footage showing the unidentified individuals approaching the statue at around 3.40am, and then walking away a short time later.
Police said they are treating it as a possible hate crime.
Spray paint could be seen on a George Floyd statue in Brooklyn on Thursday, after early that morning. Police suspect a white-supremacist group as the culprit, and are treating it as a possible hate crime
The Patriot Front formed in 2017, and its members are focused on preserving what they say is America’s white, European identity, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
The NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force is investigating, as well as the department’s Racial and Ethnically Motivated Extremism unit.
Surveillance footage showed four men walked toward and away from statue around the time the vandalism occurred
Police said they are sill looking for the four suspects
City Council Member Farah Louis, who represents the Flatbush condemned the graffiti on Twitter.
‘Today my office learned that the George Floyd sculpture at Flatbush Junction has been vandalized,’ she wrote. ‘This is a hate crime and totally unacceptable to the memory of Mr. Floyd and to the Black community as well as our efforts to achieve #racialjustice and equality in America.’
She said she is working with artist Chris Carnabuci, who created the sculpture, to find out a way to repair the damage.
Workers could be seen trying to remove the spray paint on Thursday. The statue had been unveiled less than a week before on Juneteenth
Remnants of the paint could be seen on statue by nightfall
Gov. Andrew Cuomo also announced on Twitter he is directing the New York State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to help investigate the graffiti.
‘And to the group of ne-Nazis who did this, I want to be absolutely clear: get the h**l out of our state,’ he said in a statement.
‘I’m saddened by it,’ said Carnabuci told the New York Times. ‘I’m not completely shocked.’
He said he expected the sculpture would be defaced, but not so shortly after its unveiling.
‘It was so quickly afterward that it happened,’ he said. ‘Maybe that was a surprise.’
The statue, created by Chris Carnabuci, was unveiled over the weekend and will stand for around three weeks before being moved to Union Square in Manhattan.
Terrence Floyd grows emotional as he takes in the wooden six foot statue of his brother George Floyd who was murdered by a white cop last year
Terrence leaves a message on the base of the statue: ‘Pay attention and continue to keep my big brother’s name ringing in the ears of everyone’
Terrence Floyd addresses the crowd urging people not to forget or what happened to his brother will ‘happen again’
Floyd’s brother Terrence Floyd attended the unveiling, kneeling in front of the likeness of his brother and bowing his head as he grew emotional.
The crowd chanted ‘We are Floyd’ as Terrence urged people not to ‘forget or it will happen again’ and welcomed American rapper to write a message on the base of the statue.
‘George Floyd was hunted, knees were used to prey… in life we should only use knees to pray,’ Papoose was seen painting on the side of the statue’s base.
Terrence also left a message on the base of the statue reading: ‘Pay attention and continue to keep my big brother’s name ringing in the ears of everyone.’
Floyd was murdered on Memorial Day 2020 when white cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes during an arrest over a suspected $20 counterfeit bill.
His death sparked protests demanding an end to systematic racism and police brutality and renewed calls to sign Juneteenth into law as a federal holiday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio kicked off the Big Apple’s weekend of Juneteenth events Friday night as he and First Lady Chirlane McCray attended a block party in St. Nicholas Park in the Harlem neighborhood, organized by the Mayor’s Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity.
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