Police: George Floyd statue in Newark defaced with white supremacist graffiti
The statue of George Floyd recently installed outside Newark City Hall was found defaced with white supremacist graffiti.
Police say that the statue outside of Newark City Hall was vandalized sometime before 6 a.m. Thursday. The face of the statue was painted black and the words “LIFE…LIBERTY VICTORY PATRIOTFRONT.US.” were painted on the torso in white.
Patriot Front is a white supremacist neo-Nazi group, according to Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit civil rights group.
“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,” Newark Mayor Ras Baraka said in a statement.
The vandalism is very similar to another incident in Brooklyn that also took place on Thursday. A statue of George Floyd was also vandalized in the same manner.
“We are aware of a similar incident in Brooklyn, and are in communication with our federal, state, and county law enforcement partners, as well as the New York City police. It’s disgusting that what was meant to be a symbol of the dignity of all human life would be disfigured by those who espouse hate,” Newark Police Director Brian O’Hara said.
The vandalism incidents occurred one day before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is to be sentenced for the murder of Floyd in May 2020.
Anyone who may have information about the incident is asked to call the Newark Crime Stopper tip link at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477). Tips may be anonymous.