MIAMI (WSVN) - Crews have removed paint from the statue of Juan Ponce De Leon near Bayfront Park in downtown Miami, days after it and a statue of Christopher Columbus were defaced by protesters calling for police reform and racial equality.
7News cameras captured crews using a pressurized water cleaner to remove red spray paint from the Ponce De Leon statue, Monday afternoon.
“This world is just crazy,” said an onlooker.
The statue of the Spanish conquistador and Columbus were both targets of protesters who are tirelessly trying to end systemic racism.
The vandals spray-painted “BLM” and the communist hammer-and-sickle symbol on the base of the statues.
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez spoke out shortly after the incident and said that while he supports the protests, he does not support destructive behavior.
“When that protest crosses the line and damages property, that’s something we’re not going to tolerate,” he said.
Police echoed the mayor’s message.
“We want to make sure that the public knows that we’re not here to arrest you if you’re going to peacefully protest,” said Miami Police officer Michael Vega. “However, once you do the vandalism, you will be going to jail.”
As of Monday evening, crews have yet to clean up the Columbus statue.
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