In Long Beach, California, a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. was vandalized with hate symbols over the holiday weekend.
According to USA Today, the “hope and justice” statue was spray-painted with a swastika and SS Bolts. The graffiti has since been cleaned by the city’s parks and recreation department.
The Long Beach Police Department told the newspaper on Monday (July 5) that the incident is being investigated as a hate crime, however they currently don’t have any suspects.
The MLK statue was introduced in 1968 after the civil rights leader was assassinated and changed the name of the park from 19th Street Park to Martin Luther King Jr. Park.
Al Austin II, a member of Long Beach City Council, tweeted that he was "shocked and disheartened" by the vandalism.
“It's troubling that this act happened in a core area of our LB Black community,” Austin wrote.
I'm shocked and disheartened by the recent hate graffiti on the statue at MLK Park. It's troubling that this act happened in a core area of our LB Black community.— Al Austin II (@theAlAustin) July 4, 2021
Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia tweeted Monday, “We are working to catch whoever committed this awful act. Our MLK statue is a symbol of hope and justice for the community. This hate and desecration has no place in our city.”
Our MLK statue is a symbol of hope and justice for the community. This hate and desecration has no place in our city.— Office of Mayor Robert Garcia (@LongBeachMayor) July 5, 2021
(Photo: Getty Images)