A group of protesters toppled down a statue of Confederate General Albert Pike in Washington, D.C. on Friday night.
The protesters gathered in Judiciary Square around the statue of Pike reportedly at around 11 p.m. (0400 GMT Saturday) and tore down the 120-year-old artwork 15 minutes later.
The city’s only outdoor Confederate statue, after falling to the ground, was lit on fire before police officers arrived and extinguished the flames.The episode came on Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.
President Donald Trump lashed out at the Washington, D.C. police for allowing the incident to happen.”The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn.
These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!” he tweeted, tagging the city’s Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser.
U.S. states and cities have begun removing statues of Confederate figures amid a national reckoning over police brutality and racism sparked by the death of George Floyd.Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died during an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25 after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Floyd’s death has sparked weeks-long demonstrations across the country, as well as renewed calls from lawmakers and activists for the removal of monuments in memory of figures believed to be symbols of racism.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday requested the removal of portraits of previous House speakers who served in the Confederacy from display in the U.S. Capitol.Jeff Duncan, a Republican Congressman, on Friday urged Pelosi to reverse her order.”Every leader in our country’s history has flaws and imperfections.
Every single portrait or statue in the U.S. Capitol depicts individuals who have made mistakes or questionable statements by modern day standards,” Duncan wrote in a letter.”I’m very concerned at the precedent Speaker Pelosi’s action sets, and that it will ultimately end with removing history,” he wrote.