Frederick Douglass statue vandalized at Rochester park

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) – Police are investigating an act of vandalism, after a statue of Frederick Douglass was removed from its base at Maplewood Park during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Police say they found the statue placed over a fence near the gorge, feet from the statue’s original base, pieces of plaster could be seen left in a pile by the fence.

The act of vandalism comes on the 168th anniversary of Douglass’s speech titled, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July.”

The statue was one of 13 placed throughout the city in 2018, and this is the second monument to be vandalized.

Leaders involved in the monument’s creation believe that current national focus on race could have played a role in this.

“What comes of this? Is this some type of retaliation because of the national fever over confederate monuments right now? Very disappointing it’s beyond disappointing,” Carvin Eison, Project director, re-energize the legacy of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass Bicentennial Commemoration.

“I feel to put a monument back here immediately so who ever did this know that we are not going to be deterred from what our objective is and our objective is to continually celebrate Frederick Douglass,” said Eison.

Maplewood park was picked for the monument because of the link to the underground railroad.

The monument has since been taken in for repairs.

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