UNITED STATES−On Friday, June 26, 2020, President Trump announced that he has signed an executive order that ensures that any individual or group that vandalizes or destroys a national monument will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
According to the White House web page, this crime will be punishable for up to 10 years of prison time for ‘The willful injury of federal property.’
The executive order also directs that those that incite violence and illegal activities are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
State and local law enforcement that refuses to abide by the executive order, and or fail to protect said monuments, memorials, and statues have the potential to lose their federal funding.
The statement on the WH web page reads, “The Attorney General will take all appropriate action against individuals and organizations found to have participated in unlawful acts—related to rioting and the destruction of Federal property.”
The White House statement used examples of some of the monuments and statues rioters have torn down that are the most important figures in our Nation’s history.
In San Francisco rioters tore down the statue of the 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, who led the Union Army as commanding General in winning the Civil War.
There have been calls to remove the statues of Abraham Lincoln in Boston and Washington D.C. Lincoln is the President who signed the Emancipation Proclamation, that freed the slaves. Lincoln was shot after fighting for the rights of the African American people.
In Portland, Oregon, mobs of rioters tore down statues of the founding fathers of this nation; George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.
In Wisconsin, the statue of a civil war hero, Hans Christian Heg, who died fighting for the Union Army was torn down by violent demonstrators.
A statue of Christopher Columbus was lassoed and pulled to the ground by insurgents on Wednesday, June 10, just outside of the State Capitol of Minnesota. The group reportedly called their actions, “a step toward healing for Native communities.”
A religious Statue of Father Junipero, Serra who was the founder of the California Missions toppled to the ground from its post atop Olvera Street in Los Angeles.
In the closing of the White House statement, it read,
“These monuments memorialize the history we all share as Americans, and they deserve to be defended for future generations.”
The Federal Government will assist in making sure there is personnel readily available across the nation to protect federal property including the memorials, statues, and monuments.