Reward money totaling $8,000 was offered Thursday for information leading to the person or people responsible for vandalizing a statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in Long Beach in early July.
The Long Beach City Council approved a $5,000 reward in the case, and the Anti-Defamation League contributed another $3,000.
“Our MLK statue is a symbol of hope and justice, and this act of hate has no place in our city,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “We are asking for anyone with information on this horrific crime to come forward.”
The vandalism was reported around 3:15 p.m. July 2 at Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 1950 Lemon Ave. Police responding to the scene found a swastika and Nazi SS bolts spray-painted on the statue.
The graffiti was removed by personnel from the city’s parks and recreation department.
Police have been searching for witnesses and video from the park, but so far, no suspects have been identified and investigators have no solid leads, according to the city.
“We hope this reward facilitates the quick apprehension of whomever is behind this hateful vandalism on the Martin Luther King Jr. statue,” ADL Orange County/Long Beach Regional Director Peter Levi said in a statement. “We commend the Long Beach Police Department for investigating this hateful act. We cannot allow this despicable vandalism to go unchecked in our community or anywhere else. It is a moral affront to the foundational values of our great American democracy to see such hateful graffiti on the statue of an American civil rights icon and on the Fourth of July weekend when Americans celebrate the freedom that America represents regardless of one’s race, creed, color, religion.”
Anyone with information was asked to contact the LBPD Violent Crimes Detail at 562-570-7250. Anonymous tips may be submitted through LA Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477. To issue an anonymous tip online, go to lacrimestoppers.org.