Memorial to slain Virginia officers temporarily removed

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FILE – The Richmond Police Memorial statue in Richmond, Va., was vandalized Wednesday, July 12, 2016, with graffiti referring to Alton Sterling, who was killed by a police officer in Baton Rouge, La. The statue was only recently moved to its new location in Byrd Park from the original site in downtown Richmond. ( Bob Brown/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A statue honoring police officers killed in the line of duty was removed from a park in Virginia’s capital city Thursday morning after it was covered in red paint.

Video obtained by news outlets showed a truck hauling the Richmond Police Memorial away from Byrd Park, the same place where a statue of Christopher Columbus was torn down and thrown into a lake Wednesday.

Both statues were damaged during ongoing protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died after a white police officer pressed his knee on his neck.

A spokesman for Richmond’s mayor told news outlets the police memorial would be restored and returned.

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