York statue defaced in Mt. Tabor Park, woman cited

Crime

Police say 43-year-old Jeanette Grode is responsible for vandalizing the bust of the enslaved Black man

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A woman accused of vandalizing a statue in Portland’s Mt. Tabor Park has been identified and cited.

Words like “love” and “unity” were spray painted on the base of the statue which commemorates York, and enslaved Black member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Portland Parks and Recreation officials said the vandalism took place on Tuesday morning.

A video posted by Willamette Week shows a woman claiming that replacing a statue of a white man with a Black man is the opposite of love and unity.

Investigators later identified the woman as 43-year-old Jeanette K. Grode, according to the Portland Police Bureau. Grode was cited on Thursday for 2nd-degree criminal mischief, abuse of venerated objects, unlawful applying of graffiti and vandalism — protection of park property and vegetation. She was not lodged at jail due to booking restrictions, police said.

The bust of York was placed in the park after a statue of former newspaper editor Harvey Scott was pulled down by protesters. A maintenance team worked to remove the graffiti on Wednesday.

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