“The US Park Police and FBI are attempting to identify the individuals responsible for Destruction of Property and other related crimes,” the releases read.
The announcements are the latest updates amid clashes between Park Police and protesters over statues in the nation’s capital. Protesters have vowed to bring down other statues in the area, such as the Emancipation Statue in Lincoln Park.
Tension over statues in the District intensified June 19 when protesters toppled the only outdoor Confederate statue in the nation’s capital. The statue of Pike, erected in 1901, depicted the Confederate general known for rewriting the lyrics of “Dixie” so they were more likely to inspire Confederate soldiers. District officials had been trying to get the statue removed for several years.
D.C. police were present but did not intervene as the statue fell. Their nonintervention provoked scolding tweets from President Trump.
Days later, the statue of Jackson astride a horse in Lafayette Square just north of the White House was at the center of a dramatic confrontation between protesters and police, who swung batons and released pepper spray to push back a group that had tried to topple the statue.
Jackson, a former general in the U.S. Army, signed the Indian Removal Act, which resulted in the forced relocation and deaths of thousands of Native Americans. Jackson also was a slaveholder.
President Trump chimed in as the skirmish around the Jackson statue unfolded just beyond the White House fence, calling the protesters’ actions “disgraceful vandalism.” The next morning, Trump said in a tweet that he had “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.....”
U.S. marshals were recently told they should prepare to help protect national monuments across the country, according to an email directive seen by The Washington Post.
Fredrick Kunkle, Susan Svrluga and Justin Jouvenal contributed to this report.