Four People Arrested For Vandalizing Monuments

When President Donald Trump says he is going to do something you better believe that he is going to do it.

Last week the president said that those who have been vandalizing and tearing down statues would be arrested and days later those arrests have started, The Daily Mail reported.

Four men have been charged with destruction of federal property for their alleged effort to tear down a statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square on June 22.

The men are Lee Michael Cantrell, 47, of Virginia; Connor Matthew Judd, 20, of Washington, D.C.; Ryan Lane, 37, of Maryland; and Graham Lloyd, 37, of Maine The Mail reported.

Judd was arrested on Friday and appeared in Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Saturday.

The complaint, which was unsealed Saturday, states that on June 22, the four men participated in damaging the statue alongside other protesters, while also being captured on video ‘attempting to pry the statue off its base with a wooden board and trying to pull the statue down with the aid of a yellow strap.’

It also claims there is video evidence showing ‘Lloyd as he breaks off and destroys the wheels of cannons located at the base of the statue.’ 

The document states: ‘Lloyd is then captured on video pulling on ropes in an effort to topple the statue and handing a hammer to an unidentified individual involved in the incident.’

Lafayette Square, in front of the White House, has been the site of protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s May 25 death while in police custody in Minneapolis. 

“This office remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the sacred First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, but these charges should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn our nation’s capital,” Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin said.

President Trump on Friday signed an executive order that instructed federal authorities to “prosecute the fullest extent permitted under Federal law” anyone who tears down or vandalizes a federal monument.

“I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials and Statues – and combating recent Criminal Violence,” the president said on Twitter. “Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country.”

He also shared wanted posters of those who have attacked statues and monuments in a series of tweets.

“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent,” he said.

“This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!” he said.

The president also deployed the National Guard to the Emancipation Statue in Washington, D.C. after protesters demanded it be taken down, The Daily Mail reported.

President Trump on Thursday told Fox News host Sean Hannity that he understood the complaints from those who want the statue removed.

He said he could see what they were saying about the imagery but, also, he said he “can also see beauty” in the statue.

“You know, we can take things down, too,” he said. “I can understand certain things being taken down. But they ought to go through a process, legally.

“And then we take it down, in some cases put ’em in museums or wherever they may go.,” the president said of the statue, and other statues.