A family friend was visiting the grave of Michael Clarke Duncan when she noticed a figure of a cartoonish black face attached to the center of his tome, TMZ reports.
The unidentified friend says she stopped by Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills, Calif., to deliver flowers where his body was interred in September of 2012 when she noticed a Sambo-looking figure.
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When Duncan’s family notified the cemetery, the offensive “Sambo” figure was immediately remove. The family also contacted the Los Angeles Police Department; the incident could be considered a hate crime, law enforcement sources told TMZ. The case is currently under investigation. The family says it were shocked that someone would stoop so low as to deface the actor’s grave and want the perpetrator prosecuted.
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The term Sambo was popularized in 1899 with the publication of “The Story of Little Black Sambo.” It is the tale of “a South Indian boy who encounters four hungry tigers, and surrenders his colourful new clothes, shoes, and umbrella so they will not eat him. The tigers are vain and each thinks he is better dressed than the others,” according to Wikipedia.