A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in Southern California was vandalized with a swastika and other “horrific” graffiti that police are investigating as a hate crime, officials said.
Officers from the Long Beach Police Department were called to King Park on Friday around 3:20 p.m. following reports the statue was vandalized with “hate/bias-motivated graffiti,” police said.
Officers discovered the graffiti covering the front of the statue, Long Beach police spokesman Richard Mejia said in a statement.
Police did not share a photo of the graffiti but an image posted on Twitter showed a black swastika spray-painted on the statue’s chest and SS bolts on a leg.
The SS bolts are “a common white supremacist/neo-Nazi symbol derived from Schutzstaffel (SS) of Nazi Germany,” according to the Anti-Defamation League. Swastikas are hate symbols associated with Nazis.
The graffiti has since been removed and a hate crime investigation is underway, Mejia said. No information about a suspect was available.
“The Long Beach Police Department takes all reports of hate or bias-motivated incidents seriously. We value the diversity of our Long Beach community and are actively investigating this incident to hold the individual responsible accountable for their actions,” the department said.
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SOURCE: CNN, Brisa Colon