A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in Long Beach was vandalized with hate symbols, sparking an outcry from community members over the weekend.
A photo posted to social media shows the civil rights icon’s statue sprayed with what appears to be a swastika and SS Bolts.
The vandalism is being investigated as a hate crime, the Long Beach Police Department told KTLA Monday.
Police responded to the statue at 1950 Lemon Ave. in Martin Luther King Jr. Park after getting a call about hate or bias motivated vandalism around 3:20 p.m. Friday, according to the Police Department.
As of Monday afternoon, police didn’t have information on any suspects in the vandalism.
In a tweet, Long Beach Mayor Robert Garcia called the graffiti “horrific,” assuring residents that police are working to find whoever’s responsible.
“Our MLK statue is a symbol of hope and justice for the community,” the mayor said. “This hate and desecration has no place in our city.”
Councilwoman Suely Saro shared a photo of the statue being cleaned Saturday, saying “Hate has no home in Long Beach.”
Following the vandalism, a local group called AOC7 Neighborhood Group hosted a peaceful rally to stand against hate.
Photos showed a small crowd gathered near the statue, including some carrying signs that read “no-room for hate in Long Beach” and “white silence is violence.”
Police said the case remains under investigation and no further details were available.