Two George Floyd statues have been recently vandalized in New Jersey and New York, not even a week after one of the statues was unveiled to honor Floyd’s life, according to NJ.com.
By Thursday, the Newark Police announced that a Newark police sergeant discovered that the vandalized statue that had been unveiled outside of City Hall in Newark to commemorate Juneteenth was covered with graffiti, black paint, and white words which had been painted on the statue’s torso.
According to NJ.com, the Southern Law Poverty Center determined that the words “refer” to a white supremacist extremist group called the Patriot Front. Newark’s public works department removed the paint. Additionally, an investigation is underway, according to reports.
“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. We celebrate those efforts in Newark, and will continue to do so, despite the ignorance that has reared its ugly head,” Newark Mayor Ras J. Baraka said in a statement, according to NJ.com.
Another incident also occurred in Brooklyn, N.Y.
ABC7 reported that a Floyd statue located in Brooklyn was also vandalized. Since police said that four men were seen spray-painting the statue and pedestal portion of it in surveillance video, the NYPD Hate Crimes Unit is conducting an investigation, according to the report.
“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,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said, according to ABC 7.
“And to the group of neo-Nazis who did this, I want to be absolutely clear: get the hell out of our state.”
It is not yet known if both vandalism incidents are connected, but they did occur before former police officer, Derek Chauvin, was sentenced to over 22 years in prison for the murder of George Floyd, NBC New York reported. Another incident of a Breonna Taylor and Floyd mural being defaced was recently reported by WLKY in Louisville, K.Y.
Blue paint now covers many of the faces on this ‘Say Their Names’ mural on West Main Street after it was vandalized around the 1:30 this morning.
— Gladys Bautista WLKY (@GladysMBautista) June 28, 2021