Police reportedly arrested one man early Friday in connection with a spray-painted message intended to deface the statue of former Mayor and Police Commissioner Frank Rizzo outside the Municipal Services Building.
The statue was defaced late Thursday with the message “Black Power” spray painted in white, following calls for its removal. In the aftermath of last weekend’s conflagration in Charlottesville, Va., the Rizzo statue has become the focus of renewed criticism. Meantime, city workers power washed the message from the statue early Friday.
The vandalism came during an unguarded moment. On Wednesday morning, the statue was egged, and for much of the time afterward was guarded by police, including during a “Philly is Charlottesville” demonstration later Wednesday that drew Black Lives Matter activists to the site at 15th Street and John F. Kennedy Boulevard.
Thousands of people joined the Broad Street march aimed at showing solidarity with victims of the Charlottesville, Va., attack, and a smaller group of protesters remained by the statue Wednesday night.
“The statue is going to come down one way or another,” said Asa Khalif, a member of the Pennsylvania’s Black Lives Matter chapter. “It stands for generational hurt, oppression, injustice, homophobia, anti-blackness.”