President Trump has tweeted condemning 'anarchists' following the vandalism of a statue of black abolitionist Frederick Douglass last night.
The statue, which was ripped from its base in Rochester, New York state, is believed to have been the first monument in the nation erected to honor a black American.
It was hacked from its plinth by Maplewood Park on Sunday, the 168th anniversary of one of Douglass' famous Independence Day speeches - delivered on July 5 in Rochester in 1852.
Police discovered the statue dumped at the brink of the Genesee River gorge about 50 feet from its pedestal, with damage to the base and a finger. It is not clear who the perpetrators are.
President Donald Trump responded to the vandalism in a tweet this afternoon, stating: 'Statue of Frederick Douglass Torn Down in Rochester. This shows that these anarchists have no bounds!'
The statue stood over the Underground Railroad where Douglass and Harriet Tubman helped shuttle slaves to freedom, said police.
In Rochester on July 5, 1852, Douglass gave the speech 'What to the Slave is the Fourth of July,' in which he called the celebration of liberty a sham in a nation that enslaves and oppresses its Black citizens.
To a slave, Douglass said, Independence Day is 'a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim.'
Carvin Eison, a leader of the project that brought the Douglass statue to the park, told the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle another statue will take its place because the damage is too significant.