George Floyd Statue Defaced With Paint In New York City
A man looks at a George Floyd statue as the Immersive art organization, Confront Art, in collaboration with the NYC Parks, unveils the SEENINJUSTICE exhibit, featuring three sculptures by Chris Carnabucci
BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP via Getty Images

A statue that featured a bronze bust of George Floyd was defaced Sunday morning with a gray, water-based paint.

CNN reported that the statue was part of Confront Art’s “SEEINJUSTICE” exhibition, which also featured two other statues, all of which were opened to the public last Friday evening. The Floyd statue was defaced with paint around 10 a.m. Sunday morning, according to the New York Police Department.

“There’s video footage police were able to ascertain,” detective Frances Sammon told CNN. “They show a male ducking down under one of the statues. He then mixes something together, and, as he skates away, he throws a container of paint at the statue.”

Volunteers quickly gathered to remove the paint. Andrew Cohen, co-founder of Confront Art, said the statue was already being cleaned by the time he arrived.

“They went to the hardware and bought supplies out of their own pockets,” he told CNN. “This is inspiring teamwork and support from the community.”

One of those volunteers, Harmony Seaburg, told the outlet that cleaning the statue was “very emotional” for her.

“It was really hard to see this larger-than-life man like this,” Seaburg said. “We’re trying to get all the paint off his face, but it’s very emotional.”

Floyd became a household name on May 25, 2020, after he died following an attempted arrest by Minneapolis police officers. Ex-police officer Derek Chauvin was sentenced to 22.5 years for the murder of Floyd. As The Daily Wire reported, Chauvin is appealing his conviction:

Chauvin’s attorney filed a notice of appeal on Friday morning, Reuters reported, “arguing that the judge in his case abused his discretion and made multiple errors during the trial.”

“In his appeal, Chauvin plans to raise 14 separate issues, including Judge Peter Cahill’s decision to deny Chauvin’s request to move the trial out of Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, because of the intense pretrial publicity,” the report noted.

The former officer is arguing that the judge “improperly denied requests to grant him a new trial, sequester the jury during trial and disqualify ‘clearly biased’ potential jurors during jury selection,” adding that Judge Peter Cahill “erred in permitting prosecutors to add a third-degree murder charge shortly before trial and in concluding that the man who had been with Floyd on the day of his arrest could not be forced to testify.”

At trial, Chauvin’s attorney also argued that “Floyd’s drug use and bad heart were crucial factors in his death and that Chauvin used reasonable force through an authorized prone hold,” The Daily Wire reported. “The Hennepin County medical examiner revealed that Floyd’s autopsy showed the deceased had potentially lethal levels of drugs in his system.”

Chris Carnabuci, the artist behind the Confront Art statues, applauded the volunteers who cleaned up the statue and mentioned another Floyd statue that was defaced in Brooklyn in June. As for his own statue getting defaced, Carnabuci condemned the perpetrator.

“I’m not shocked, but I’m still pissed,” he said. “It’s a very counterproductive thing to do, and it’s not the kind of civil discourse — the keyword being civil — I wanted.”

A previous version of this article misstated who argued that Floyd’s drug use and bad heart were crucial factors in his death. It was Chauvin’s attorney, not Floyd’s attorney. 

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