NYC Mayor, NYPD Offer $15,000 Cash Reward for Info on World War I Memorial Vandals

Aldgra Fredly
By Aldgra Fredly
May 8, 2024New York
NYC Mayor, NYPD Offer $15,000 Cash Reward for Info on World War I Memorial Vandals
New York City Mayor Eric Adams attends a news conference in New York on Oct. 11, 2022. (Mary Altaffer/AP Photo)

New York City Mayor Eric Adams has contributed $5,000 of his own money to a reward offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for vandalizing a World War I memorial.

The 107th United States Infantry monument, situated in Central Park on the Upper East Side, was vandalized during a protest on Monday. Social media footage shows anti-Israel protesters spray-painting the word “Gaza” on the base of the statue and burning an American flag.

Mr. Adams said on Tuesday that the state will offer a $15,000 reward, with $5,000 contributed by the mayor himself and another $10,000 by the New York Police Department (NYPD), for information leading to the arrest of the “cowards” who vandalized the memorial.

“We cannot remain silent when our symbols of freedom are desecrated by individuals who clearly hate our country and hate our way of life,” the mayor said during a press conference.

“We should not remain silent, because our silence gives the belief that everything is okay and it is not okay. Not only was this statue desecrated, but down the block, another statue was desecrated,” he added.

Mr. Adams, whose uncle died while serving in Vietnam at the age of 19, called the memorial vandalism a “painful” act and vowed to “treat this crime with the seriousness that it deserves.”

“I want to assure New Yorkers that our city will not tolerate chaos and disorder, even if those who are creating it claim to be doing so in the name of peace. We want [you] to bring your anger and passion to the protests, but don’t bring your hate, don’t bring your violence and don’t bring your disorder,” Mr. Adams said.

“We’re going to be swift with our response. We’re going to be swift with our actions, and we’re going to be swift to ensure those who attempt to bring disorder to the city would not accomplish their task,” he added.

Protestors also vandalized the monument honoring Union Army General William Tecumseh Sherman at Grand Army Plaza in Manhattan. The mayor’s office stated that NYC Parks is working with the Central Park Conservancy to finish cleaning the memorials.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the nation’s largest war veterans organization, affirmed in a May 1 statement that it supports “the rule of law in our country and those working to uphold it.”

“While those staging protests on college campuses across the country have the right to free speech and to peaceful assembly, they do not have the right to violently act out against others,” VFW National Commander Duane Sarmiento stated.

Hundreds of protesters marched from Hunter College on Monday and made their way to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where the Met Gala was taking place.

Crowd control police with anti-riot gear sent out warnings that protesters would be arrested if they kept blocking the middle of the street and didn’t move to the sidewalks.

By 8 p.m. there were still about 800 protesters present. They dispersed into smaller groups, the biggest group having about 200 people, and at about 9 p.m. the protest faded.

Police Block Entrances To The Met Gala
Police block entrances to the Met Gala in New York on May 6, 2024. (Enrico Trigoso/The Epoch Times)

Protesters said they were upset with Israel’s bombing of Gaza and civilian casualties there.

NYPD Deputy Commissioner Kaz Daughtry told The Epoch Times that at least 25 individuals were arrested following the protest, including one person “who was throwing eggs out the window at the officers.”

The deputy commissioner said the pro-Palestinian group tried to force its way into the Met Gala but police had fortified the area and did not let anyone in who did not have permission.

Enrico Trigoso contributed to this report.

From The Epoch Times

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