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Police: 7 arrested for vandalizing Columbus statue in Miami

Police: 7 arrested for vandalizing Columbus statue in Miami
Posted at 1:48 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 13:48:26-04

MIAMI (AP) — Miami police say seven people were arrested for vandalizing statues of Christopher Columbus and Juan Ponce de León in the city.

Columbus Statue Arrests
A woman walks past a vandalized statue of Juan Ponce de León at Bayfront Park in Miami, Thursday, June 11, 2020. Miami police say that several people were arrested for vandalizing the statue of Juan Ponce de León and Christopher Columbus during a protest Wednesday. Protests continue over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last month while in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

The arrests happened after a chaotic scene ensued where protesters had a confrontation with police.

News outlets report the altercation occurred after demonstrators spray-painted statues of Columbus and León in Bayfront Park with the letters "George Floyd," "BLM," and a hammer and sickle.

Columbus Statue Arrests
A statue of Christopher Columbus is shown vandalized at Bayfront Park in Miami, Thursday, June 11, 2020. Miami police say that several people were arrested for vandalizing the statue of Columbus and Juan Ponce de León during a protest Wednesday. Protests continue over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last month while in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Police say officers were assaulted and their car was damaged when they arrived at the scene.

Columbus Statue Arrests
The pedestal where a statue of Christopher Columbus stands is seen vandalized at Bayfront Park in Miami, Thursday, June 11, 2020. Miami police say that several people were arrested for vandalizing the statue of Columbus and Juan Ponce de León during a protest Wednesday. Protests continue over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last month while in police custody in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

News outlets report some protesters had been blocking police cars and a video from the scene shows police tackling one protester to the ground.