City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
Long Beach, CA - The Long Beach City Council has approved a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for the desecration of the Martin Luther King Jr. statue on July 2, 2021.
“Our MLK statue is a symbol of hope and justice, and this act of hate has no place in our city,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are asking for anyone with information on this horrific crime to come forward.”
On Friday, July 2, at approximately 3:18 p.m., officers were dispatched to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, 1950 Lemon Ave., regarding a reported act of hate/bias-motivated vandalism. Upon arrival, officers discovered a swastika and ‘SS’ lightning bolts spray-painted graffiti on the statue of Martin Luther King Jr.
The reward was unanimously approved by the entire City Council and was brought forth in an item by Councilwoman Suely Saro and co-sponsored by Vice Mayor Rex Richardson and Councilmember Al Austin II.
“We must never allow these acts of hate to take hold in our community,” said Councilwoman Suely Saro. “Dr. King’s life and legacy inspire us to always uphold his ideals and values for the entire community.”
The graffiti was removed by the City’s Parks, Recreation and Marine Department and an investigation related to this incident was launched. Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) patrol officers and detectives canvassed the area for witnesses and video and continue to visit the park in an attempt to locate witnesses. Currently, LBPD has no suspect description or workable leads.
To assist in the continuing investigation, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has offered an additional $3,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the swastika and ‘SS bolts’ graffiti on the statue. This contribution brings the reward total to $8,000.
“We hope this reward facilitates the quick apprehension of whomever is behind this hateful vandalism on the Martin Luther King Jr. statue,” said ADL Orange County/Long Beach Regional Director Peter Levi. “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 4th of July weekend when Americans celebrate the freedom that America represents regardless of one’s race, creed, color, religion. ADL will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure the safety of all.”
Anyone with information about the statue desecration is encouraged to immediately contact the LBPD Violent Crimes Detail at 562.570.7250. Anonymous tips may be submitted through “LA Crime Stoppers” by calling 800.222.TIPS (8477), downloading the “P3 Tips” smartphone app (available on the Apple App Store or Google Play), or by visiting lacrimestoppers.org. View the LBPD bulletin for additional information.