Four men have been charged by federal authorities in connection with a failed effort to pull down the statue of President Andrew Jackson near the White House.
Authorities allege that the men damaged and attempted to tear down the Jackson statue, in Lafayette Square and that there is video evidence of their actions on June 22.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office released a statement on Saturday:
Lee Michael Cantrell, 47, of Virginia; Connor Matthew Judd, 20, of Washington, D.C.; Ryan Lane, 37, of Maryland; and Graham Lloyd, 37, of Maine, were charged by criminal complaint yesterday with destruction of federal property, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Washington Field Office’s Criminal Division James A. Dawson, and Acting Chief of the United States Park Police (USPP) Gregory T. Monahan.
The complaint, unsealed today, alleges that on June 22, 2020, the four men along with other unidentified individuals, damaged and attempted to tear down the statue depicting Andrew Jackson located in Lafayette Square. The complaint further alleges that Cantrell was captured on video attempting to pry the statue off its base with a wooden board and trying to pull the statue down with the aid of a yellow strap. The complaint alleges that Judd is seen on video trying to pull down the statue, and that Lane is seen on video affixing a rope to one part of the statue and then pulling on another rope tied to the statue. The complaint also alleges that video of the incident shows Lloyd as he breaks off and destroys the wheels of cannons located at the base of the statue. Lloyd is also captured on video pulling on ropes in an effort to topple the statue, and handing a hammer to an unidentified individual involved in the incident.
Authorities arrested Judd on Friday, the remaining three are yet be apprehended.
“The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia will not stand idly by and allow our national monuments to be vandalized and destroyed. This Office remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the sacred First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, but these charges should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn our nation’s capital: your violent behavior and criminal conduct will not be tolerated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.