On Saturday, June 19, activists and local officials gathered to unveil a 500-pound wooden bust of George Floyd’s profile, created in his memory and displayed to the general public in honor of the newly approved Juneteenth federal holiday. Floyd’s brother, Terrence, was even in attendance at the event, saying afterward, “it’s a major statement for a major person. To see Brooklyn represent him and honor him on a national holiday, it’s all love.”
Sadly, that love didn’t last very long. Less than a week after its debut, the George Floyd tribute was vandalized by white supremacists.
#BREAKING The vandalized George Floyd statue uncovered—defaced… art producers on scene right now who tell us they will soon begin cleaning the statue immediately. @News12BK @News12BX pic.twitter.com/8g8XlpW8O8
— Mary-Lyn Buckley (@ml_buckley) June 24, 2021
The Hill’s Olafimihan Oshin reported that the NYPD has since opened an active investigation into the incident that happened in the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn.
In an official statement, the NYPD said at approximately 7:20 am, “in the vicinity of Nostrand Avenue and Flatbush Avenue, 70 Precinct officers discovered graffiti on a George Floyd bust statue and pedestal. An unknown individual spray-painted the statue’s face black and covered the words on the pedestal with the black spray paint. In addition, the words ‘patriotfront.us’ were spray-painted in white on the pedestal. There are no arrests, and the investigation is ongoing.’
The HCTF is investigating vandalism, discovered this morning, to the new George Floyd statue that was unveiled at 1545 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn @NYPD70Pct this past weekend. If you have any information, you are urged to DM @NYPDTips or call them @ 1-800-577-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/7e2vjbrr3D
— NYPD Hate Crimes (@NYPDHateCrimes) June 24, 2021
New York City council member Farah N. Louis issued a series of tweets on the matter, calling the vandalism a “hate crime” and strongly urging any city residents with knowledge of what happened that night to communicate the information to the police as soon as possible.
2: I ask anyone with information to please come forward and contact the @NYPD who is investigating. Additionally, my office is working with artist @chriscarnabuci, ConfrontART and the We Are Floyd Foundation to repair the damage to this beautiful and important work of public art.
— Council Member Farah N. Louis (@CMFarahLouis) June 24, 2021
“Today, my office learned that the George Floyd sculpture at Flatbush Junction has been vandalized,” Louis wrote. “This is a hate crime and totally unacceptable to the memory of Mr. Floyd and to the Black community as well as our efforts to achieve #racialjustice and equality in America.”