In Brooklyn, New York, a statue of George Floyd has been vandalized with the name of a white supremacist group. The statue was unveiled only five days prior to the vandalism in honor of Juneteenth. Nevertheless, the white supremacists of Brooklyn and the surrounding area came out at night to deface the Floyd bust on Thursday morning, according to police and the creator of the George Floyd memorial.
The vandal threw black paint onto the bust of Floyd. Floyd became a household name after video footage of him being murdered was shared with the media. The memorial to Floyd was placed at Flatbush Junction near Brooklyn College. The criminals used a stencil to promote the white supremacist group and sprayed it all over the Floyd statue.
Now, the New York Police Department is scrambling to figure out what criminal is behind the vandalism of the Floyd memorial.
“There are no arrests, and the investigation is ongoing,” the NYPD spokesperson said in a statement.
The New York Times has also put the best people in the NYPD Hate Crimes task force on the case to figure out who defaced the Floyd statue with the white supremacist message in Brooklyn. They tweeted, “The HCTF is investigating the vandalism, discovered this morning, to the new George Floyd statue that was unveiled at 1545 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn this past weekend.”
The statue was created in partnership with ConfrontART and the We Are Floyd Foundation, which was founded by Floyd’s brother after his murder. Police believe the vandalism occurred during the witching hour between 3 am and 5 am on Thursday. This was the only time when officers were not stationed near the statue, which led some to wonder if the white supremacists knew the police movements.
Lindsay Eshelman, the cofounder of ConfrontART, told HuffPost that she was “devastated” to learn about the defacement of the statue. She offered the following message to the vandals: “You’re cowards. You did this at night when no one could see you. I’m restoring it in the day when everybody can see your hate.”
Floyd’s brother, Terence Floyd, who founded We Are Floyd Foundation, heard about the vandalism in Brooklyn. He is set to attend the sentencing of his brother’s murderer on Friday, the day after the vandalism occurred.
Floyd told HuffPost in a statement, “is a perfect example of why we are so diligent in promoting change. As a community, we should stand together in peace and in turmoil.”
Millions of New Yorkers are outraged by the vandalism of the Floyd memorial in their city.
Mayor Bill de Blasio also tweeted: “Last night a far-right extremist group vandalized a statue of George Floyd in Brooklyn. A racist, loathsome, despicable act of hate. The City Cleanup Corps is repairing the statue right now, and a hate crime investigation is underway. We will bring these cowards to justice.”
Patriot Front is the white supremacist group that claimed to defaced the statute. The group previously claimed credit for vandalizing a Floyd mural in Philadelphia. Southern Poverty Law Center lists the Patriot Front as a hate group.