NBC 4 New York
A statue of Jackie Robinson outside Brooklyn's minor league baseball stadium in Coney Island was vandalized with a racial slur and a swastika, police said. Brynn Gingras reports
A statue of Jackie Robinson outside Brooklyn's minor league baseball stadium in Coney Island was vandalized with a racial slur and a swastika, police said.
The NYPD hate crimes task force is investigating after the vandalism was discovered on the statue outside the Brooklyn Cyclones stadium Wednesday.
Police say someone wrote in black marker "die n-----" and had a swastika and the word "Hitler."
It also said "F--- Jackie Robinson."
The monument, dedicated in 2005, shows former Brooklyn Dodger Pee Wee Reese with his arm around Robinson, depicting their historic friendship.
It was a symbol of courage and conviction of which even 10-year-old Lou Orlando of Fort Greene understood the significance.
"The heroic meoments of Jackie Robinson, and Pee Wee put his arm around him when the crowd was booing him," said Orlando.
"It's really mean to vandalize that," he said. "It not only affects Jackie Robinson but affects people who like him. It's like an insult."
Other fans leaving the Brooklyn Cyclones game Wednesday were equally upset to see the statue defaced.
"It's disgusting," said Julie Toro of Staten Island. "How far have we really come if people are going to do things like this?"
Michael Klebanow said, "The bottom line is that you can't have that, especially nowadays. I'm just kind of speechless."
When Patrick Jabour heard what happened, he was prepared to grab his graffiti cleaners, anxious to get rid of the ugly words and symbols.
"A lot of people went through hell and back, especially Jackie Robinson," he said. "That's why it bothered me."
The Parks Department did the cleaning instead, power washing the statue and working to restore it.
Police are scanning more than three dozen cameras posted around the ball park, looking for possible suspects.
Sen. Charles Schumer said in a statement that "defacing the Jackie Robinson statue is a dagger in the heart to everything America stands for, and I hope those who are responsible are caught, punished and taught why what they did is so disgusting and offensive."