A man appears to throw paint over the statue while riding a skateboard
The force released a surveillance video while asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who vandalised the monument. They offered a reward of up to $3,500 (approximately £3,020). The footage shows the man approaching the statue in Union Square carrying a skateboard. He mixes paint behind the monument, before getting on his skateboard, dousing the statue in it and then skating away.
Chris Carnabuci, who made the statue, wrote in a statement: "The defacing of Floyd today didn't come as a surprise, though it is quite upsetting to us all.
"The fact that there is a diversity of opinion on George Floyd is probably the main reason for this exhibit."
ConfrontArt, the social justice organisation that collaborated with Mr Carnabuci, said its staff rushed to the statue around 30 minutes after the statue was defaced, only to find members of the public already cleaning the paint off.
Sunday’s act wasn’t the first time the monument has been vandalised.
Just five days after it was unveiled on the Juneteenth holiday in a spot on Flatbush Avenue, Brooklyn, it was vandalised with black paint and marked with the alleged logo of a white supremacist group. Members of the group that installed the statue cleaned it. Local residents and one of Floyd’s brothers gathered in July, as it was prepared to move to Union Square, in the heart of Manhattan.
Floyd’s statue is next to two other sculptures by the artist Chris Carnabuci – one of late US Congressman John Lewis and the other of Breonna Taylor, a woman who was shot and killed in her Louisville home by police in March 2020.
Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer during an arrest in 2020, which sparked worldwide protests against racism and police brutality.