RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A statue honoring police officers killed in the line of duty was removed from a park in Virginia’s capital city Thursday morning after it was covered in red paint.
Video obtained by news outlets showed a truck hauling the Richmond Police Memorial away from Byrd Park, the same place where a statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down, set on fire and thrown into a lake Wednesday.
The bronze memorial was placed at the location in 2016 and lists the names of 39 fallen Richmond police officers, news outlets said.
The statue was damaged during ongoing protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died two weeks ago after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck for more than eight minutes as he pleaded for air.
The temporary removal comes as protesters in Richmond and around the country have called for the removal of monuments many say are symbols of racism. On Wednesday, protesters toppled a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis that sits along Monument Avenue, about a week after Gov. Ralph Northam ordered a statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee be taken down from its position on the same street.
The police memorial was set to be restored and “returned to public display,” WRIC-TV quoted a spokesman for Mayor Levar Stoney as saying.