Protesters and rioters gathered around New York City’s Central Park Thursday night and splashed red paint on the iconic statues leading into the park before marching uptown along Eighth Avenue to deface property.
Police told Fox News there were between four and six arrests and the preliminary charges ranged from criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. Protesters faced off with police but there were no injuries to demonstrators or police, a spokesman said. At least one video emerged that purported to be a physical clash between officers and the group.
CBS New York reported that it was not clear what the group was protesting, but a bus was tagged with graffiti and at least one restaurant was defaced. Protests have broken out across the country after a tense week that included the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial and two recent fatal police shootings.
The rioters tagged the statues with slogans like "ACAB," "F–k 12" and "Stonewall was a riot," according to The New York Post.
One of the statues splattered with paint was the USS Maine Monument, which is the entrance at Columbus Circle. The sinking of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor was one of the developments that eventually thrust the U.S. into the Spanish American War.
"We respect's everyone right to peacefully protest, but vandalism is not part of peaceful protest," the New York Police Department wrote on Twitter late Thursday. "We are working to de-escalate the situation to prevent further damage from occurring."