Posted on July 9, 2021

Long Beach Officials Condemn Vandalism of Martin Luther King Statue

Faith E. Pinho, Los Angeles Times, July 7, 2021

A chorus of Long Beach officials this week joined a wave of community blowback against racist vandalism of a statue of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. over the holiday weekend and asked for stepped-up surveillance of the area.

Police responded to a report of a black swastika spray-painted onto the statue of the civil rights leader in the city’s eponymous park about 3:15 p.m. Friday. A city cleaning crew removed the graffiti that day {snip}

The vandalism elicited condemnation in the city over the weekend, as community leaders and elected officials denounced the act and police launched a hate crime investigation.

“I know that for all of us, Dr. King is a hero and an inspiration, he stands for justice, stands for bringing people together and certainly for so many … young people in our city, that is a very special, in many ways sacred, place for the city,” Mayor Robert Garcia said at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

He added: “We are very aware that the vandalism, the desecration that happened, is hateful — it’s unacceptable, it’s disgusting, and it should bother every single person in our community and in our city.”