Police say they are investigating the hate crime of 'horrific' graffiti at Martin Luther King Jr. statue, Southern California.

Officials said that vandalism of Martin Luther King Jr.’s statue in Southern California involved a swastika, as well as other “horrific,” graffiti. Police are now investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Police said that officers from Long Beach were summoned to King Park Friday afternoon around 3:20 pm. They received reports that the statue had been vandalized by hate/bias-motivated graffiti.
Richard Mejia, a Long Beach police spokesperson, stated that officers discovered graffiti on the statue’s front.
Although police did not take a photograph of the graffiti, a Twitter image showed a black swastika being spray-painted on the statue’s chest with SS bolts attached to one leg.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, the SS bolts represent “a common white supremacist/neo-Nazi emblem derived from Schutzstaffel(SS) of Nazi Germany.” Swastikas are associated with Nazis as hate symbols.
Mejia stated that the graffiti was removed since then and that a hate crime investigation has begun. There was no information on a suspect.
“The Long Beach Police Department is committed to investigating all hateful or biased incidents. The department stated that they value Long Beach’s diversity and are currently investigating the incident to find the person responsible.
Robert Garcia, the Mayor of Long Beach, condemned the vandalism via a statement on Twitter.
“Horrific graffiti was left on the MLK statue in King Park over the holiday weekend.” He said that the LBPD is investigating this hate crime and are trying to find those responsible.
“Our MLK Statue represents hope and justice for the community. He said that hate and desecration have no place in our city.
Garcia spokesperson said Garcia is working with the police and community leaders to place security cameras near the statue.

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