A New York City statue of George Floyd that was vandalized last month just days after it was unveiled for Juneteenth will be moving to Manhattan as part of a long-planned September exhibition.
The group behind the 6-foot statue, Confront Art, confirmed to The Associated Press and other news outlets that volunteers had worked for hours to clean off black paint and a logo of a white supremacist group that defaced the structure.
The group said the statue, which includes quotes from Floyd’s brother, Terrence, and other words in honor of the 46-year-old Black man killed at the hands of Minneapolis police, will be brought to a studio Monday for further cleaning before it is transported to Manhattan’s Union Square.
The New York City Police Department (NYPD) announced late last month that it had opened an investigation into the vandalism that occurred in the early morning of June 24 in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Police said at the time that they had found black spray paint covering the words on the statue’s pedestal and "patriotfront.us" sprayed in white, referencing the name of a white supremacist, neo-facist group.
No arrests have been made yet in connection with the vandalism, which Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioGoogle to purchase Manhattan building for .1 billion New York to start weekly COVID-19 testing in schools Three arrested for allegedly assaulting NYC hostess who asked for COVID-19 vaccine proof MORE (D) said at the time was a "racist, loathsome, despicable act of hate."
New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoZeldin says he's in remission after treatment for leukemia Letitia James holding private talks on running for New York governor: report Governors brace for 2022 after year in pandemic spotlight MORE (D) directed the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the NYPD’s investigation into the incident.
Terrence Floyd said at a Thursday evening gathering to bid farewell to the statue before its move that he was grateful Flatbush “really supported us” and “looked out for the statue, looked out for the spirit of my brother,” according to the AP.
He later said, “You try to stop us, but you can’t stop us. And we still gonna continue, with love.”
Confront Art’s Andrew Cohen told the AP that volunteers worked for hours to clean the paint off the statue, using toothbrushes and hands, explaining, “The only method that worked was really, really putting the elbow grease into it.”
The day after police discovered the vandalism, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who had been found guilty of second-degree murder and other charges related to Floyd’s death, was sentenced to 22 ½ years in prison, one of the longest punishments handed down to an ex-police officer in a deadly use of force case.
Floyd’s death last May, which was captured in graphic video footage that quickly went, occurred after Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for roughly nine minutes.
Floyd’s death prompted a wave of civil unrest with calls for stronger law enforcement reform and an end to police brutality.