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Prized Jackie Robinson Statue Stolen from Kansas Park, Sparking Outrage and Police Search

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A prized statue of Jackie Robinson was stolen from a public park in Kansas, spurring a police search Friday and outrage throughout town of Wichita.

The statue honors the primary participant to interrupt Main League Baseball’s coloration barrier in 1947. Surveillance video was launched of two individuals hauling the sculpture away in the dead of night. Wichita police stated in a Fb publish that it went lacking Thursday morning.

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The statue was lower on the ankles to be eliminated. All that remained of the statue Friday had been Robinson’s ft.

“I’m annoyed by the actions of these people who had the audacity to take the statue of Jackie Robinson from a park the place youngsters and households in our neighborhood collect to study the historical past of Jackie Robinson, an American icon, and play the sport of baseball,” Wichita police Chief Joe Sullivan stated throughout a information convention Friday. “This could upset all of us.”

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He stated much more troubling was the statue’s theft shortly earlier than Black Historical past Month.

Robinson performed for the Kansas Metropolis Monarchs of the Negro Leagues earlier than becoming a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, paving the best way for generations of Black American ballplayers. He’s thought-about not solely a sports activities legend but in addition a civil rights icon.

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Wichita Metropolis Council member Brandon Johnson referred to as the theft “horrendous” and “disgusting,” and stated that residents are feeling damage and indignant, and demanding justice.

“Many individuals wish to discover these people earlier than legislation enforcement,” Johnson stated. “So once more, just like the chief and the (district legal professional) stated, should you’ve obtained that statue, deliver it right here as we speak. Now.”

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The Wichita Metro Crime Fee provided a reward Friday of as much as $2,500 for suggestions resulting in arrests and one other $5,000 for suggestions that result in the statue’s restoration.

Sullivan stated he hopes space salvage yards will contact police if the statue is introduced in for cash.

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“As soon as the statue is returned, we additionally need the people who robbed our neighborhood of a treasure to be held accountable for his or her actions,” Sullivan stated. “And I guarantee you, they’ll. The sources of the Wichita Police Division have been mobilized.”

Little League nonprofit League 42, named after Robinson’s quantity with the Dodgers, paid about $50,000 for the mannequin of him, Govt Director Bob Lutz stated. The sculpture was put in in 2021 in McAdams Park, the place the roughly 600 kids play within the youth baseball league.

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Picture: A bronze statue of legendary baseball pioneer Jackie Robinson was stolen from a park in Wichita, Kan., through the early morning hours of Thursday, Jan. 25, 2024. The statue, valued at $75,000, was the centerpiece of the League 42 ballpark facility, a baseball league began in 2015 to assist youngsters with little entry to organized sports activities. The league at present has 600 youngsters signed as much as play this spring. Wichita police stated throughout a Friday information convention that they’re working desperately to catch the thieves. (Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle through AP)

Copyright 2024 Related Press. All rights reserved. This materials will not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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