Residents of New York’s Greenpoint district discovered anti-Polish slogans painted on the monument, a black sack thrown over the statue’s head and garbage strewn around the site.
The hate crime task force of New York Police Department wrote on Twitter: “We are vigorously investigating the vandalism of the statue of Jerzy Popiełuszko, a Polish priest murdered in 1984 due to his work in Poland's Solidarity Movement.”
The Polish Consul General in New York, Adrian Kubicki, who visited the scene, thanked police for their efforts to trace the perpetrators of what he described as a “saddening act of vandalism”.
The incident has been condemned by media outlets serving the Polish community in New York.
Meanwhile, the Polish-Slavic Credit Union, the leading banking institution serving the local Polish community, has pledged to cover the costs of cleaning up the statue and installing monitoring equipment.
The statue of Father Popiełuszko was unveiled in New York in October 1990.