A man has been arrested for allegedly defacing a statue of George Floyd in New York City. The New York Daily News reports Micah Beals, 37, is accused of skateboarding past the exhibit and throwing white paint on the bust erected in Union Square back on Oct. 3. The implicated vandal has worked as an actor with single-episode roles on both Parks and Recreation and CSI: NY.
According to the report, prosecutors revealed Beals has prior convictions in Michigan, California, and Washington state and was also questioned about another crime.
“Confront Art would like to thank the NYPD for their incredible work in putting this case together, leading to [Micah] Beals arrest,” Confront Art co-founder Lindsay Eshelman said. “We do not consider this just an act of vandalism, but also an act of hate, and we continue to focus on the message that this exhibit stands for, which is unity, healing, and using art as a conversation catalyst.”
“Although the defacing of the statue was a disappointing day, we’ve experienced 30 days of true community building, joy, and positivity from New Yorkers and visitors alike, and no vandal can deter from that,” she added.
According to CNN, Beals was taken into custody on Monday (Oct. 25) and charged with criminal mischief. He was arraigned the following day and released. Beals next expected court date is November 1, 2021.
When the statue was damaged, members of the community worked together to restore it to its original and intended state. The giant metallic bust of Floyd is displayed with statues of Breonna Taylor and Rep. John Lewis in a similar fashion. Created by artist Chris Carnabuci as part of the SEEINJUSTICE exhibit, presented by Confront Art, the statues will remain on display through Oct. 30.
“The exhibition is entitled ‘SEEINJUSTICE’—in one way or another, each of these individuals saw injustice,” said Carnabuci.
“I’m not shocked, but I’m still pissed,” he said of the vandalism. “It’s a very counterproductive thing to do, and it’s not the kind of civil discourse—the keyword being civil—I wanted.”