Police in De Kalb County, Georgia have arrested one individual and are investigating a series of racial attacks at the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts, after vandals tied a noose around the neck of a bronze statue of slain rapper, Tupac Shakur.
According to police, the first incident occurred early Saturday morning (October 20), when vandals defaced the building and tied a noose around the neck of the statue of Shakur, which is located in the center's Peace Garden.
A second attack also occurred on the statue of Shakur, when vandals drew crosses and wrote rants about Hurricane Katrina and various record labels.
The attacks are being investigated as hate crimes by the De Kalb County Sheriff's Office and police are seeking additional suspects.
"We thank everyone for their prayers and support," Tupac's mother Afeni Shakur said. "Although our hearts are temporarily in pain, our spirits have already forgiven the perpetrators. Hate comes in all colors and genders therefore we will use this act of hate and ignorance to bring our community together and to pray for the healing of those who harbor such feelings."
Due to the attacks, the Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation (TASF) recently began fundraising efforts to construct a fence around the parameters of the Center to secure the property.
"With God's guidance, the work of the Tupac Amaru Shakur Center for the Arts and Peace Garden will continue to positively impact and transform our community," Shakur added.
On Saturday, November 10/4, TASF will host its 2nd Bi-Annual Film Screening with a rededication service of the Peace Garden.
The event is free to the public.