A sculpture of George Floyd was defaced with an alleged white supremacy marker less than one week after it was built in Brooklyn, New York City, on Juneteenth.
In the wee hours of Thursday, four anonymous individuals allegedly defaced the monument and covered the writing on its pedestal with black spray paint, barely five days after it was unveiled.
The stenciled mark of Patriot Front, labeled a “white nationalist hate group” by The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors extremism in the United States, was left on the statue’s pedestal with white spray paint.
The four individuals left on foot after vandalizing the monument, according to authorities.
The Hate Crimes Task Force of the New York City Police Department released images and footage of the suspects, who were dressed in hoodies or hats and had their faces hidden under scarves, asking for the public’s aid in identifying and locating them.
Floyd Statue to commemorate Juneteenth
Recently, a 6-foot statue of Floyd was unveiled in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood to commemorate Juneteenth. It was supposed to be on exhibit for two to three weeks in Brooklyn before heading to Union Square in Manhattan.
“To the group of neo-Nazis who did this, I want to be absolutely clear: get the hell out of our state,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who announced an investigation into the vandalizing of the sculpture on Thursday.
“This act of cowardice is not just an attack on the Black community, and it’s not just an attack on the basic human decency George Floyd and his family deserves — it’s an attack on all New Yorkers, and the values our state stands for,” Cuomo said in a statement.
Courtney Nelson, a spokesman for the organization We Are Floyd, denounced the vandalism.
Former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was Friday sentenced to 22 years and six months in prison for the murder of 48-year-old George Floyd. The African-American man’s death triggered widespread protests and the biggest outcry against racial injustice in the U.S. in generations.
Floyd died after Chauvin knelt on his neck for nine minutes. Chauvin, 45, was convicted of second-degree murder and other charges last month.
The judge, according to the BBC, said Chauvin’s sentence was based “on your abuse of a position of trust and authority, and also the particular cruelty shown” to Floyd.