The name of a far-right group was graffiti painted Thursday (24) on two statues erected in honor of George Floyd, in New York and New Jersey states.
According to New York police, the wooden bust of artist Chris Carnabuci and unveiled last Saturday (19) – the date the United States first celebrated as a national holiday the day that marks the end of the slavery in the country – is lifted. this farmhouse covered in black paint and bearing the inscription “Patriot Front”, the name of an American neo-Nazi group.
“It is the epitome of not only anti-darkness and racism, but also basic human decency in the life of George Floyd,” said Imani Henry, leader of a community group in the Brooklyn neighborhood where the statue was erected, to the New York Times newspaper. “Desecrating homage to an innocent person is beyond the limit.”
For Carnabuci, creator of the bust, the work was expected to provoke extreme reactions, but not in such a short time. “I’m sad about it, but not completely shocked.” The statue is expected to undergo repairs and stay in Brooklyn for a few weeks before being moved to Union Square in the Manhattan neighborhood.
Authorities released security camera footage showing four people, one of whom holding a packet of spray paint, walking around the statue around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday. So far, no suspect has been arrested by police.
In a Twitter post, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the mobilization of specialized agents to investigate the case, which is being treated as a hate crime. “I will be absolutely clear with the neo-Nazi group that did this: get out of our state!” Wrote the Democrat. On the same network, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to “bring these cowards to justice”.
The Patriot Front group has its roots in a national neo-Nazi organization and is classified by entities that monitor extremism in the United States as a hate group.
In Newark, NJ, another statue honoring Floyd was also vandalized on Thursday. The 300-pound bronze sculpture, which depicts him sitting on a bench in front of City Hall, was made up of graffiti painted black and, according to police, also bore inscriptions referring to the neo-Nazi group.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka lamented the episode of vandalism, which he described as a tendency to tarnish Floyd’s image, more than a year after his death.
“This horrific act is the reason this statue needs to stay and be looked after. It’s not just George Floyd. It is a deliberate effort to fight back and ultimately dismantle the systems of hatred, racism and white supremacy. We celebrate these efforts in Newark, and will continue to do so despite the ignorance that has shown its ugly face, ”Baraka said in a statement.
Killed by a white policeman in May 2020 during a disastrous raid in Minneapolis, George Floyd has become a symbol of the fight against police violence and racism in the United States.
Now, former cop Derek Chauvin, who appears with his knee on Floyd’s neck in the video that has spread around the world, has been convicted of the murder and sentenced in three categories of murder. Chauvin was convicted of “unintentional second degree murder” (murder not premeditated, but committed with the criminal malice to kill with grievous bodily harm), “third degree murder” (dangerous act without regard for human life ) and “second degree manslaughter” (manslaughter for negligence).
This Friday, the Court is expected to announce his sentence, which could increase considerably due to at least four aggravations listed by Judge Peter Cahill, in charge of the case. In an opinion published last month, the magistrate said prosecutors had succeeded in proving that Chauvin abused his position of authority, was “particularly cruel” in slowly killing him and committed his crime in the presence of children and with the active participation of at least three other people.
Aggravations allow Cahill to sentence Chauvin to up to 40 years in prison.