(NEW YORK) – Less than a week after a statue of George Floyd was erected on Juneteenth in Brooklyn, New York City, the memorial was destroyed with an alleged white supremacy marker.
Four unidentified people allegedly used black spray paint to deface the memorial and cover the text on its pedestal at 3:40 a.m. on Thursday, just five days after the reveal.
White spray paint was used on the base of the statue to leave the stencil mark of the Patriot Front referred to as a “white nationalist hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which persecutes extremism in the United States.
After the monument was destroyed, the four men fled on foot, the police said.
The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force released photos and videos of the suspects wearing hoodies or hats with scarves on their faces, and asked the public for help with identification and location.
On 6/24/21 at 3:40 a.m., four people defaced a George Floyd memorial on 1545 Flatbush Ave, Bklyn. Black spray paint was used to deface the sculpture and cover the text on the base. “PATRIOTFRONT .US” was scraped onto the base in white spray paint. THE INFORMATION? ☎️1-800-577-TIPPS pic.twitter.com/bnBwEraOWg
– NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) June 25, 2021
The 6-foot statue of Floyd was unveiled in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn on Saturday to celebrate June 10th. It was supposed to be on display in the Brooklyn location for two to three weeks before moving to Union Square in Manhattan.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced an investigation into the defacement of the statue Thursday, saying, “To the group of neo-Nazis who did this, I want to be absolutely clear: Get out of our state.”
“This act of cowardice is not just an attack on the black community, and it is not just an attack on the basic human decency that George Floyd and his family deserve – it is an attack on all New Yorkers and the values that stand for our state stands. ”Cuomo said in a statement.
Floyd’s family member Courtney Nelson condemned the vandalism.
“It’s only been five days and it’s very disheartening,” Nelson told local ABC broadcaster WABC-TV. “And it’s disgusting and it’s sad and it’s cowardly. And they did it like a thief in the night. But you can’t stop us. “
The vandalism came the day before the sentencing of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of Floyd’s death in April.
Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or in Spanish at 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). The public can also post their tips by logging into the Crime Stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or on Twitter @NYPDTips.
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