‘This racism has got to stop’: George Floyd statue in Newark defaced with white supremacist graffiti, police say

Police in Newark are searching for the suspect, or suspects, responsible for defacing the George Floyd 700 lb. statue in front of city hall.
The statue was found defaced Thursday just before 6 a.m. with white supremacist graffiti. Some passersby who saw the statue before it was cleaned up described the face as spray painted black.
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. Residents stopping by to take pictures by the statue were shocked to hear of the act of vandalism, but not surprised.
“I felt like it was an attack against all Black people in my city of Newark. It's got to stop, this racism has got to stop,” says Darrel Armstrong, of Newark.
"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.
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.