by WorldTribune Staff, June 28, 2020
The Department of Justice announced on Saturday that four men have been charged in the attempt to tear down the statue of President Andrew Jackson at Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C.
The DOJ said 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 were charged by criminal complaint with destruction of federal property.
President Donald Trump has warned that anyone charged federally with tearing down such statues will face 10 years in prison.
The complaint alleges that, on June 22, the four men along with other unidentified rioters, damaged and attempted to tear down the statue.
The complaint further alleges that Cantrell was 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.
The complaint alleges that Judd is seen on video trying to pull down the statue, and that Lane is seen on video affixing a rope to one part of the statue and then pulling on another rope tied to the statue. The complaint also alleges that video of the incident shows Lloyd as he breaks off and destroys the wheels of cannons located at the base of the statue. Lloyd is also 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.
Judd was arrested on Friday. The remaining defendants have not yet been apprehended.
“The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will not stand idly by and allow our national monuments to be vandalized and destroyed. 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: your violent behavior and criminal conduct will not be tolerated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.
The DOJ said tips associated with this matter or other acts of violence can be reported to the FBI at 202-278-2000 or tips.fbi.gov.