HomeTop StoriesPro-Palestinian protesters vandalize WWI memorial in 'heinous crime,' says NYPD

Pro-Palestinian protesters vandalize WWI memorial in ‘heinous crime,’ says NYPD

NEW YORK — The NYPD vows to arrest anyone who vandalized a World War I memorial on the Upper East Side. Police say it happened as pro-Palestinian protesters marched Monday night to disrupt the Met Gala.

Deputy Commissioner for Operations Kaz Daughtry turned to X, formerly known as Twitter, calling the act “unacceptable,” adding that this type of behavior “will not be tolerated.”

According to police, the monument at the corner of 67th Street and Fifth Avenue was desecrated with spray-painted words such as “Gaza” and phrases “Liberate Palestine” and “Let Gaza Live.” They also said an American flag had been burned. It happened just over ten blocks south of where the protests converged near the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The spray-painted messages had been cleared up on Tuesday afternoon. Mayor Eric Adams is expected to speak about the vandalism at 3 p.m., which we will bring to you live on CBS News New York.

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The NYPD is looking for the person or persons responsible for desecrating the monument at the corner of 67th Street and Fifth Avenue on May 6, 2024.


New York City has been an epicenter of protests on college campuses in recent weeks. Hundreds of arrests have been made in the city and across the country as demonstrators in support of Palestinians continue to object to the war between Israel and Hamas.

On Monday evening, several hundred protesters marched from Hunter College with flares in an attempt to disrupt the scene fashion’s biggest night. Police said 27 people were taken into custody, mainly for disorderly conduct, and 21 people were released with citations.

Deputy Commissioner: NYPD “actively investigating this heinous crime”

Daughtry said the NYPD will find those responsible for Monday’s desecration of the World War I memorial.

“I want to assure you that the NYPD, supported by our best detectives, is actively investigating this heinous crime. We will leave no stone unturned until the perpetrators are brought to justice. Destroying a memorial, a symbol of memory and honor, is not permitted. It is just an act of criminal mischief, but also a disrespect for the sacrifices of those who have served our country,” Daughtry said. “The NYPD is known for its exceptional investigative capabilities, and this case will be no exception. We are committed to upholding the law and ensuring that justice prevails. Let this serve as a warning to anyone who dares to damage our city’s monuments – there will be consequences. We urge anyone with information to come forward and help us in our efforts to bring those responsible to justice. Together we can uphold the values ​​of our city and ensure such acts are never repeated.

CBS New York spoke to some people who say memorials like the one that was vandalized are indeed sacred.

“It breaks your heart. In this country you have the right to express your opinion but not to destroy history,” said one man.

“I think it’s absolutely disgusting. It’s pure violence,” said another man.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All conversations are treated confidentially.

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