A man has been arrested after he was accused of defacing a bronze statue of George Floyd in New York City this month.
Micah Beals, 37, was charged with criminal mischief after surveillance video showed a white man on a skateboard splash gray paint on the statue in the city’s Union Square then fleeing on Oct. 3, the New York Police Department’s hate crimes task force tweeted Monday.
Under the stage name Micah Femia, Beals has played small roles on “Parks and Recreation” and “CSI: New York,” the Sacramento Bee, The Hill and People Magazine reported. Beals first appeared on “CSI: New York” in 2005 and starred in the 2013 movie “Pop Star,” according to IMDb.
Beals’ attorney, Rebecca Heinsen of Legal Aid society, told USA TODAY she had no comment.
This month’s incident wasn’t the first vandalism of the statue memorializing Floyd, whose murder by a Minneapolis police officer last year led to nationwide protests demanding police accountability and reform. Five days after the statue was unveiled on Juneteenth, it was defaced with black paint and the logo of a group defined as white supremacists by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit legal advocacy organization.
The group that installed the statue cleaned it. Shortly after it was vandalized again in October, a team of volunteers gathered to again clean the statue.
“Today was tough, but the beauty of today was that when we arrived to refurbish the statue, we found community members and allies already hard at work, out of their own goodwill, scrubbing and working to honor the integrity of the art and the power of the subject,” community arts organization Confront Art said.
The statue of Floyd is part of Confront Art’s SEEINJUSTICE exhibit.
The organization thanked the NYPD in a statement after the arrest, saying: “We do not consider this just an act of vandalism, but an act of hate.”
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Twitter that she had directed the NYPD’s hate crimes task force to help investigate.
“This act of cowardice and hate is reprehensible,” she said.
“The defacing of Floyd today didn’t come as a complete surprise, though it is quite upsetting to us all,” the statue’s artist, Chris Carnabuci, said in a statement Oct. 3. “Actions like this remind us that we have a long way to go, and we will never stop fighting.”