President Donald Trump reacted Monday to an attempt by violent protesters to topple the statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square across the street from the White House.
“Ten years in prison under the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act,” Trump wrote. “Beware!”
Trump commented after Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) shared a similar sentiment on Twitter.
“By the way, criminal masterminds, you’re destroying a statue on federal property that commemorates the military service of Andrew Jackson, a crime that carries a 10-year sentence under the Veterans Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act,” he wrote. “And you’re on tape. Lock ‘em up!”
And, by the way, criminal masterminds, you’re destroying a statue on federal property that commemorates the military service of Andrew Jackson, a crime that carries a 10-year sentence under the Veterans Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act. And you’re on tape.
Lock ‘em up!
— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) June 23, 2020
Cotton also wrote a letter to Attorney General Bill Barr asking him to charge the mobs toppling statues around the country.
The statue in Lafayette Square depicts Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans in the War of 1812.
The rioters on Monday broke through a fence surrounding the statue and climbed on top of the statue with ropes while people on the ground tried to pull it down.
#breaking: Police clash with protesters in Washington D.C.’s Lafayette Park, police moving in to stop protesters from pulling down the equestrian statue of General Andrew Jackson at the Battle of New Orleans. pic.twitter.com/UosFeQQM5u
— Preston Phillips (@PrestonTVNews) June 23, 2020
Park Police moved in with riot gear and pepper spray in a display of force that pushed back the crowd. D.C. Metro police also assisted in forcing the rioters out of the park.
St. John’s Church was also vandalized with spray paint with the letter BHAZ (Black House Autonomous Zone.)