Protesters Deface Monument in New York City’s Central Park

Protesters Deface Monument in New York City's Central Park protesters in columbus circle Protesters gather in Columbus Circle during a march against racism and inequality in the theater industry on April 22, 2021 in New York City. (Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

By Jeffrey Rodack | Friday, 23 April 2021 09:56 AM

Protesters vandalized a monument in New York City’s Central Park by spraying anti-police graffiti in pink paint.

The New York Post said six people were arrested in Columbus Circle near the USS Maine National Monument during a clash with police. Profanity-laced slogans against the police defaced the monument. In several instances, ACAB, an acronym for "All Cops Are B——-" was seen on the monument. The statue was also splashed with red paint.

Fox News noted that the sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor was one of the developments that eventually pushed the U.S. into the Spanish-American War.

The New York Police Department tweeted during the clash: "We respect everyone(‘s) right to peacefully protest, but vandalism is not part of peaceful protest. We are working to de-escalate the situation to prevent further damage from occurring."

And a tweet from NYPD’s Manhattan South said: "During the protest…six individuals were arrested for assault and for damage to public property. While we respect the right to peacefully protest, we will not tolerate violence or destruction of public property."

Attached to that tweet was video showing the damage to the monument.

The Washington Examiner noted additional video from the unrest showed protesters and uniformed officers standing toe-to-toe before a shoving match began.

The outlet said NYPD’s public information did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

And the New York Post added that a handful of protesters climbed on the monument and waved flags.

"It turns out people are looking for a black woman in a red dress who threw some paint," a person on a megaphone told the crowd.

CBS in New York reported the demonstrators had also spray-painted the back of a bus with black paint and vandalized the outside of a restaurant.

The local outlet reported it was unclear what the group was protesting.

The clash broke out just days after former police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

Chauvin was found guilty on Tuesday of all charges in the death of Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man whose restraint and death while in police custody were caught on camera and quickly went viral, inspiring a summer of protests and riots across the nation.

The verdict on Chauvin, 45, was delivered just shy of one year after Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020.