The NYPD said its Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident, the station added.
Police said the man is wanted for criminal mischief, and there is a $3,500 reward for information about the culprit.
Authorities described the male suspect as having a medium build and wearing a black hat, dark green jacket, a neon green T-shirt, black shorts, black and white sneakers, and carrying a green backpack, the station said.
The New York Daily News said Sunday morning’s incident marked the second time the monument was vandalized, as four men wearing bandanas spray-painted white supremacist graffiti on the statue in June. At the time the monument was being displayed at Flatbush Junction in Brooklyn, the paper said.
The Floyd monument is one of three by artist Chris Carnabuci that were unveiled Thursday in Union Square, WPIX said, adding that the “SeeInJustice” art installation also includes statues of Breonna Taylor — who was fatally shot by Louisville police in March 2020 — and U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a prominent civil rights leader who also died last year. Floyd died on Memorial Day 2020 while being arrested by Minneapolis police.
The three monuments are a temporary exhibit that will head to other places around the country, WPIX added.
‘Disgusted by the vandalism’
Volunteers spent the day peeling off the paint, WCBS-TV reported.
Image source: WPIX-TV video screenshot
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams tweeted an image of the defaced monument and said he’s “disgusted by the vandalism.”
“Whoever did it, you should be ashamed of yourself,” resident Yasmeen Beadle said, according to WCBS. “He already suffered enough.”
Lindsay Eshelman, co-founder of Confront Art, added to WCBS that “the crazy thing is we knew that this could happen. It just kind of shows that what we’re doing is sparking conversation; it’s sparking controversy. That is the mission of art, to evoke emotion. I don’t align with this emotion. It’s super frustrating, but it shows the disunification of America that we live in.”