Newark police report that the new George Floyd statue erected a week ago at City Hall was defaced and are looking for the culprits.

Reports indicate the statue was vandalized with white graffiti that read “LIFE…LIBERTY VICTORY PATRIOTFRONT.US.” Patriot Front is a white supremacist, neo-fascist, and American nationalist group the participated in the U.S. Capitol insurrection in January. Similar vandalism was found on another George Floyd statue in Brooklyn, NY.

The graffiti showed up the day before former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22 and half years in prison for Floyd’s murder. A jury found Chauvin guilty in May.

“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,” Newark Mayor Baraka said in one report. “We celebrate those efforts in Newark, and will continue to do so, despite the ignorance that has reared its ugly head.”

The George Floyd statue in Newark was a gift to the city sculpted by artist Stanley Watts and unveiled on June 16. It will remain at City Hall for a year.

Police are asking anyone with information to call the department’s 24-hour Crime Stopper tip line at 1-877-NWK-TIPS (1-877-695-8477). Anonymous tips can also be made using the Police Division’s website at www.newarkpd.org or through its smartphone app.

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