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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Sunday, June 28, 2020
Four Men Face FEDERAL Charges for Attempt to TOPPLE Andrew Jackson STATUE in DC
Statue of former US Presides Andrew Jackson is inspected after demonstrators tried overnight to tear it down in Lafayette Park. AFP via Getty Images Vincent Barone
The suspects – Lee Michael Cantrell, 47; Connor Matthew Judd, 20; Ryan Lane, 37; and Graham Lloyd, 37 – are charged with the destruction of federal property, the capital’s U.S. Attorney, Michael Sherwin announced late Saturday.
Trump has promised prosecutors will pursue 10-year prison terms under the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act against anyone targeting the monuments.
Sherwin on Saturday said the federal government hopes to make an example out of the alleged vandals.
“[T]hese charges should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn our nation’s capital: your violent behavior and criminal conduct will not be tolerated,” Sherwin said in a statement.
Demonstrators in several cities have vandalized or pulled down statues of men with ties to slavery or other forms of brutality.
Protesters in Washington, D.C., had targeted the Lafayette Square monument to the slave-owning seventh president, whose Indian Removal Act forced the violent, sometimes deadly displacement of tens of thousands of Native Americans from their ancestral homes on millions of acres in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida.
Prosecutors allege the four suspects – who hail from D.C., Maine, Maryland and Virginia – are among more than a dozen people caught on camera Monday night trying to take down the statue with rope and other objects.
Cantrell was allegedly captured on video attempting to pry the statue off its base with a wooden board as well as trying to pull the statue down with a yellow strap.
Lane, Judd and Lloyd were also allegedly pulling on a rope that was affixed to the statue in an attempt to bring it down.
Judd was arrested on Friday and appeared in Superior Court of the District of Columbia Saturday, but the other three suspects remain at large, according to Sherwin’s office.