Four charged in attempt to tear down Andrew Jackson statue
Four men have been charged in connection with an attempt to tear down the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square, the U.S. attorney's office for Washington announced Saturday evening.
The four were charged by criminal complaint with destruction of federal property, acting U.S. attorney Michael Sherwin said.
They were identified as Lee Michael Cantrell, 47, of Virginia; Connor Matthew Judd, 20, of the District; Ryan Lane, 37, of Maryland; and Graham Lloyd, 37, of Maine.
The attempt to tear down the statue was followed by an increase in security around Lafayette Square and by heightened tensions between law enforcement officers there and demonstrators protesting in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.
The demonstrations here and elsewhere have expanded to involve efforts to remove statues seen as being associated with racism.
The complaint involving the Jackson statue was unsealed Saturday, and, the prosecutor said, alleges that on June 22, the four, along with others who have not been identified, damaged and tried to tear down the statue.
In addition, the prosecutor said, Judd is visible on video trying to tear down the statue. Cantrell, according to the prosecutor, was seen on video trying to pry the statue from its base with a board and trying pull it down with a yellow strap.
The prosecutor said that Lloyd is allegedly shown on video trying to pull the statue down. He is seen pulling on ropes to try to topple the statue and handing a hammer to an unidentified person involved in the incident, the prosecutor said.
Additionally, the complaint alleges that video also shows Lloyd breaking off and destroying wheels of cannons located at the based of the statue.
The complaint, according to the prosecutor, also charges that Lane is seen on video attaching a rope to a part of the statue and pulling on another rope tied to the statue.
Judd was arrested Friday and appeared in District Superior Court on Saturday, the prosecutor said.
The other three have not been arrested, the prosecutor said.
Sherwin said his office "will not stand idly by and allow our national monuments to be vandalized and destroyed."
He said the office is committed to protecting the right to protest, but said the charges should warn that desecration of statues and monuments here will not be tolerated.The Washington Post