Frederick Douglass statue vandalized in Rochester park
Source: ABC News
Police in Rochester are trying to determine who ripped a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass from its base on the anniversary of one of his most famous speeches
ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Police in Rochester were trying to determine Monday who ripped a statue of abolitionist Frederick Douglass from its base on the anniversary of one of his most famous speeches, delivered in the upstate New York city in 1852.
The statue of Douglass was taken on Sunday from Maplewood Park, a site along the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped shuttle slaves to freedom. The statue was found at the brink of the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet (15 meters) from its pedestal, police said. There was damage to the base and a finger.
As President Donald Trump and others pointed at possible culprits, Rochester Police Chief La’Ron Singletary cautioned that investigators still don’t why the “disheartening” act of vandalism occurred.
“Right now, for me to guess would be pure speculation,” Singletary told reporters at a news conference.
Singletary said investigators will review camera footage.
In Rochester on July 5, 1852, Douglass gave the speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,” in which he called the celebration of liberty a sham in a nation that enslaves and oppresses its Black citizens.
To a slave, Douglass said, Independence Day is “a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.”