A front panel which contained a metal description of the late mayor was removed and stolen from the pedestal below the statue, according to a community alert issued by police.
The statue was located in front of the Harold Washington Cultural Center on the 4700 block of South Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, police said.
The incident happened late Saturday. No information about the people who damaged the statute was available, police said.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Area Central Bureau of Detectives at (312) 747-8380.