(ConservativeInsider.org) – The bronze statue honoring baseball legend and civil rights icon Jackie Robinson, stolen from a Wichita park last week, was discovered in pieces and burned early Tuesday morning, causing outrage and grief in the community.
City workers found remnants of the statue in a trash can fire at Garvey Park around 8:38 AM, according to police spokesman Andrew Ford. He expressed shock at the perpetrators’ act and later confirmed that the pieces belonged to the stolen statue, lamenting that the statue was unfortunately beyond repair.
However, the investigation is underway, with over 100 people already interviewed, aiming to understand how the statue was dismantled, transported, and ultimately destroyed.
The trash can fire also triggered an arson investigation. Although, as of now, the Wichita Fire Department has not recovered additional parts of the statue.
League 42, a non-profit Little League that installed the life-size statue valued at over $50,000 in McAdams Park in 2021, expressed the community’s outrage. Bob Lutz, League 42’s executive director, said the community people couldn’t understand why this would happen in the first place and demand justice.
Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, became a symbol of hope for racial equality, extending his legacy beyond baseball to civil rights, advertising, broadcasting, and business.
Questions linger about the perpetrators’ motive and connection to Garvey Park, located over seven miles from the stolen statue’s original location.
Police obtained surveillance footage showing two people cutting down the statue and transporting it in a truck. However, investigators haven’t disclosed the tools used in the vandalism.
Despite the immense loss, League 42 is determined to move forward, planning to replace the statue within six months using a GoFundMe campaign and existing molds.
League 42’s executive director mentioned playing seven years without a Jackie statue but emphasized that Robinson’s spirit had always been with them. He acknowledged missing the physical presence but expressed inspiration, knowing it would be replaced.
Bob Lutz concluded by emphasizing that Robinson’s message of breaking barriers and fighting for equality had never rung louder or truer.
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