Camden, NJ (WTXF) - The statue of Christopher Columbus was defaced in Camden—from paint splattered on the historic figure to the statement 'Gentrification equals Genocide' imprinted all over.
"'My immediate reaction was I was shocked by the what the vandals did."
Rev. Levi Combs III has a church nearby Farnham Park where the statue is and says the vandalism underscores the need to take the statue down.
"For us as African-Americans, Native-Americans what Christopher Columbus did did to the Tiaino people and murdering them, raping women and all of that.This statue being here is worse than Confederate statues being erected in the South," he said.
Camden City Councilman Brian Coleman says concerned residents have already called him.
"It's just a senseless act of a few that doesn't represent not only this community but the city as a whole. That's not something that we want to see happen."
The reverend says despite the criminal mischief, he hopes any efforts to remove the statue will be civil.
"I don't condone vandalism. I do think there are other alternative ways and measures to have statues like this removed from cities such as Camden that represents a majority of minorities."