- Statues of George Floyd, John Lewis, and Breonna Taylor went up in New York City on Thursday.
- The statue of Floyd was defaced with paint on Sunday morning, the NYPD said.
- The statues were displayed in Union Square Park, where protests ensued last summer.
A statue of George Floyd that was unveiled in New York City’s Union Square Park just four days ago was vandalized on Sunday, the NYPD told Insider.
Police told Insider that they discovered the statue was defaced at around 10:15 a.m.
“Preliminary investigation determined that an unidentified individual threw gray paint on the face and base of the statue. There are no arrests and the investigation is ongoing,” police told Insider in a statement.
WNBC reported that the statue was unveiled on Thursday as part of the “SEEINJUSTICE” exhibition, which also features nearby statues of Breonna Taylor and late civil rights pioneer and Congressman John Lewis.
In May 2020, Floyd, a Black man, died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for several minutes despite Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
Taylor, a Black woman, was shot and killed by police in Louisville, Kentucky in March 2020.
Their deaths prompted widespread protests across the US last summer. The statues, in Union Square Park, are near protests sites in the city.
Chris Carnabuci, the artist who made the statues, told CNN he was upset by the defaced statue.
CNN reported that a team of volunteers worked to clean up the statue.
“It was really hard to see this larger-than-life man like this,” Harmony Seaburg, one of the volunteers, told CNN. “We’re trying to get all the paint off his face, but it’s very emotional.”
This isn’t the first time a mural or statue of Floyd has been vandalized.