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Vandalism of new Brooklyn George Floyd statue may be hate crime, officials say

Vandals painted a hate group's website on the statue, which was unveiled on Juneteenth.
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New York police are investigating vandalism to a new George Floyd statue as a possible hate crime and say vandals defaced the memorial with the website of a white nationalist group.

"Black spray paint was used to deface the sculpture (face) and to cover text on the pedestal," the department said about the Brooklyn incident, which was reported early Thursday.

Police said white spray paint was used to stencil the website of Patriot Front, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as "a white nationalist hate group" with roots in the deadly, far-right gathering in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

The statue on Flatbush Avenue was dedicated during Juneteenth celebrations a week ago. A George Floyd statue in Newark, New Jersey, was also recently vandalized, NBC New York reported Friday.

New York police distributed photos from security video that captured four people walking in the area of the Brooklyn statue at the time.

The NYPD's Hate Crime Task Force was investigating.

On Friday, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, Derek Chauvin, was sentenced to 22-and-a-half years behind bars.

Floyd, a Black man, was killed when May 25, 2020, when Chauvin, who is white, knelt on his neck for 9½ minutes.