A mural of George Floyd in the Olney section of Philadelphia was defaced with white nationalist graffiti on Friday.
The mural was commissioned by the North 5th Street Revitalization Project after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered Floyd last year.
The community group told the Inquirer that the mural, which is located on the corner of North 5th Street and West Olney Avenue, was vandalized sometime overnight.
“The Olney community will not tolerate this type of hate in our neighborhood, and strongly condemns the hateful ideas and actions behind this incident,” the group said in a statement. “It is a direct affront to what our community stands for.”
6ABC was first to report the vandalism, which featured the words Patriot Front spray painted on the white-washed mural. The Philadelphia Police Department said the vandalism was under investigation.
It is unclear who is responsible for vandalizing the mural.
“While Derek Chauvin was found guilty in the murder of George Floyd, this is proof that the hatred that lived in Chauvin’s heart also resides in others who operate in secrecy and cowardice,” Councilmember Cherelle Parker said. “The artist is a resident of Olney, and I will support every effort to restore the mural.”
She also said the vandalism was captured on surveillance camera, which would hopefully “help the police to quickly apprehend the perpetrators and send a message that racism will not be tolerated. Our people will not be intimidated.”
Patriot Front is a white nationalist hate group that formed in the wake of the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Anti-Defamation League says followers of the extremist ideology espouse “racism, anti-Semitism, and intolerance” under the guise of preserving the “ethnic and cultural origins” of their European ancestors.
Floyd’s murder led to widespread protests across the country last summer, including in Philadelphia, where demonstrations quickly grew in size and intensity and lasted several weeks. Floyd was recently honored with rallies and moments of silence in Minneapolis a year after his murder, and President Joe Biden met with his family at the White House.