Bright red paint splattered on downtown landmarks in St. John's, N.L.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Legacy Sculpture is seen covered in crimson paint, in St. John's, Friday, July 2, 2021. Two prominent buildings in St. John's as well as a statue dedicated to the local police force have been vandalized with bright red paint. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sarah Smellie

Two prominent buildings in St. John's, N.L. and a statue dedicated to the local police force have been vandalized with bright red paint.

Red spray-painted letters spelling "Guilty" stained a walkway in front of the Basilica Cathedral in Newfoundland and Labrador's capital city on Thursday evening.

Friday morning, just a short walk away, a statue depicting a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary holding a little girl's hand was covered in a splatter of crimson.

On Thursday afternoon, drips and pours of red paint had hardened on the steps of the historic Colonial Building, as hundreds of people cheered and chanted beneath them during a "cancel Canada Day" demonstration.

Const. James Cadigan of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary said Friday in a statement the force shares the feelings of loss and outrage following the recent discoveries of hundreds of unmarked graves on the sites of former residential schools in the country.

Cadigan says the force is legally mandated to protect property and any damage will be investigated.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2021.