The United States Department of Justice has announced charges against four men accused of damaging a statue of President Andrew Jackson near the White House, while Donald Trump retweeted a series of “wanted” posters for 15 people accused of vandalism.
The four people were charged with destroying federal property in connection with their alleged efforts to demolish the Jackson statue in Lafayette Square on June 22nd.
The bronze statue has remained there since 1853.
Jackson, a populist who according to admirers reformed Washington DC, is a hero of Trump, and Trump has chosen his portrait to hang in the Oval Office. Jackson̵
The four are Lee Michael Cantrell, 47, of Virginia; Connor Matthew Judd, 20, of Washington, DC; Ryan Lane, 37, from Maryland; and Graham Lloyd, 37, of Maine.
Monday night protesters are pictured attempting to bring down the statue of Trump’s hero
The protesters used chains to try to topple the bronze statue, which was placed there in 1853
Judd was arrested on Friday and appeared in the upper district court of Columbia on Saturday.
The complaint, which was unveiled on Saturday, says that on June 22 the four men participated in damaging the statue along with other protesters, while they were also captured in the video ‘attempting to leverage the statue from its base with a wooden board and trying to pull the statue down with the help of a yellow strap. “
He also claims that there is video evidence showing “Lloyd stopping and destroying the cannon wheels located at the base of the statue.”
The document states: “Lloyd is then captured by a video that pulls the ropes in an attempt to overturn the statue and deliver a hammer to an unidentified individual involved in the accident.”
Lafayette Square, in front of the White House, was the scene of protests following George Floyd’s death on May 25, during police custody in Minneapolis.
Monday night protesters gathered again in Lafayette Square in Washington DC
A large crowd sang outside the White House on Monday, demanding justice for Floyd
“This office remains firm in its commitment to protect people’s sacred First Amendment right to protest peacefully, but these allegations should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn the capital of our nation,” he said. United States Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.
In Monday’s demonstration, protesters scribbled “killer scum” on the statue’s pedestal, fixed ropes and ropes around the sculpted heads of both Jackson and his horse and sprinkled the marble base with yellow paint before the crowd began to tear the statute from its base.
Dozens of law enforcement officers, led by United States park police, stormed the square and scattered protesters.
The movement to overturn or deface the monuments of Confederate war heroes and US presidents with scant civil rights data has angered the president.
Donald Trump tweeted a series of “wanted” posters seeking information on vandals
The posters asked anyone who knew the ones in the photo to inform the authorities
On Friday, the president signed an executive order to protect the statues
Trump signed an executive order to protect monuments and statues on Friday, making the matter a priority for the Justice Department.
“I just had the privilege of signing a very strong executive order to protect American monuments, monuments and statues and to fight recent criminal violence,” Trump announced on Twitter.
“Long prison terms for these illegal acts against our Great Country.”
Trump has long mocked efforts to tear down monuments, often calling them “fools”.
“I think many of the people who are tearing down the statues don’t even have a clue what the statue is, what it means, who it is when they tore it down,” he said on Wednesday.
‘They are now looking at Jesus Christ, they are looking at George Washington, they are looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson.
“It won’t happen, it won’t happen while I’m here.”
Trump showcases the executive order he signed to protect monuments and statues on Friday