Trump Threatens ’10 Years In Prison’ For Anyone Harming Monuments
President Donald Trump has threatened an ‘automatic 10 years in prison’ for anyone caught vandalising or harming any statues.
It comes after a number of statues and monuments linked to slave trading and the Confederacy have been vandalised or pulled down as part of the Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.
Those against pulling down the statues have argued it’s like trying to erase history, however protesters have argued that we can educate people on the history of slavery without glorifying enslavers in the form of statues.
Meanwhile, Trump has warned against anyone who is contemplating harming any federal monument or statue, claiming they will get an automatic custodial sentence.
‘No, Radical Left anarchists, agitators, looters or protesters will not be knocking down or harming the Washington Monument, the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorials, or just about any other Federal Monument or Statue,’ he tweeted. ‘If they even try, an automatic 10 years in prison. Sorry!’
It comes three weeks after Trump tweeted a similar message, which read:
I have authorised the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalises or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the US with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.
This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!
Trump has made no secret that he is in favour of protecting monuments and punishing those who harm them, particularly following incidents around a monument of war hero and former president Andrew Jackson, and vandalism at the Lincoln Memorial, World War II Memorial and St. John’s Church.
Council leaders in a Mississippi city named after Jackson voted to remove a statue of him as a result of his links to the Confederacy.
In his tweet, Trump references a sentence of 10 years behind bars, which is the maximum sentence offenders can face if they damage or attempt to damage ‘any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States,’ under the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act.
Just this month Trump signed an executive order which deals with the building and rebuilding of monuments.
It said: ‘To destroy a monument is to desecrate our common inheritance.’
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