A white man vandalized a bust of George Floyd in Union Square, according to a video obtained by the New York Police Department.
The incident occurred around 10:14 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 3., according to police. An unidentifiable medium-built individual in black and green with a green rucksack is seen lurking behind a nearby bust of the late Rep. John Lewis.
He is soon seen riding his skateboard up to the pedestal of the Floyd carving, where he tosses gray paint on the face and base of the monument without stopping before riding off north on the park’s west side. According to reports, the paint was water-based, making it simple to remove.
This is the second time the figure has been used as a rallying point. In June, four individuals wearing bandanas believed to be affiliated with a white nationalist group damaged the piece with black paint and spray-painted a white supremacist graffiti on it as it stood in its original location in Brooklyn’s Flatbush Junction. It was later restored and transported to Union Square, where it was unveiled on Sept. 30 to a large crowd.
The bust on exhibit was one of three sculpted by artist Chris Carnabuci as part of the “SeeInJustice” series. Floyd, who died in May 2020 after Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for about ten minutes, was honored with the art project.
Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old deceased EMT worker who was shot by Louisville, Kentucky, police in March 2020, and John Lewis’ designs were also included in the homage. Following an eight-month struggle with pancreatic cancer, the renowned civil rights pioneer and longtime Georgia congressman died in July 2020. At the time of the Flatbush Junction event, the other two busts were undamaged.
On Sunday in New York City’s Union Square, a man on a skateboard sprayed paint on a newly placed statue of George Floyd. The suspect is being sought by the police. pic.twitter.com/x0RQBFkcot
October 4, 2021 — CBS News (@CBSNews)
Before they were moved to Union Square, Carnabuci repainted all three pieces, which are wood carvings covered in a unique paint, in a way that would make them simpler to clean if one was destroyed again, according to The New York Times.
The artist told the outlet, “It’s pretty upsetting to us all,” yet he said he wasn’t surprised the artwork was harmed. “Vandalism of any kind is not a useful or meaningful endeavor,” he continued. Such actions remind us that we still have a long way to go and that we will never give up.”
According to authorities, no arrests have been made, and the case is being investigated by the NYPD’s hate crimes task force.
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