A pair of newly erected George Floyd statues in New York City and New Jersey have been targeted by racist vandals.
The incident took place one day before former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years in prison for killing Floyd in May 2000.
According to the NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force, four individuals defaced the sculptures with black spray paint and references to a white supremacist, neo-fascist hate group, per Law&Crime.
Here’s more from the outlet:
The Task Force released photographs of four people believed to be responsible for the act of vandalism that occurred in the pre-dawn hours of Thursday morning. In a tweet, the Task Force explained that “black spray paint was used to deface the sculpture and cover text on the pedestal.” A web URL for PATRIOTFRONT.US was then sprayed in white, the police said.
That website is linked to the group that also calls itself Patriot Front, a “white supremacist group” formed by “disaffected members” of Vanguard America in the wake of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va., according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday denounced the vandalism.
“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.
“And to the group of neo-Nazis who did this, I want to be absolutely clear: get the hell out of our state.”
Cuomo said the New York State Police will assist the New York Police Department in the investigation.
“This horrible act is the very reason that this statue needs to remain and be upheld,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said about the vandalized statue of Floyd that was erected on Juneteenth in front of Newark City Hall. “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.”
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