Trump Warns “Long Prison Time” for Rioters Who Desecrate Historical Monuments
On Saturday, President Donald Trump had enough of the chaos and anarchy that continued to plague the nation. As a response, the administration issued an executive order to make individuals, as well as states accountable for the desecration of historical monuments, citing a cut in federal funding or “long prison time.”
In a Twitter post, Trump wrote, “I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combatting recent Criminal Violence.” He warned that “Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!”
According to the President’s new executive order, he had written additional provisions to already existing laws. This includes additional funding for states and cities to protect possible monuments and threatening others to “withholding federal grants” if they failed to protect such historical landmarks. Fox News reported that the order would prevent the desecration of statues and monuments, which have become increasingly rampant during the protests. It also covers vandalism on government property and even acts of violence.
Moreover, in a newly released internal Justice Department memo, Attorney General William Barr had already given the green light to create a Department of Justice task force which would be responsible for sharing information among local and state law enforcement. The task force will also provide training among law enforcement officers to handle and identify anti-government extremists.
The executive order came after protesters targeted historical monuments, statues, and even landmarks that they deemed as “racist.” Initially, the trend of toppling down, and desecrating monuments was aimed at Confederates. However, the movement took a drastic turn as they went on to destroy statues of American founding fathers, past presidents, and even Christian missionaries.
For example, on Saturday, rioters attempted to topple down the monument of the abolitionist figure, Abraham Lincoln. What’s worse is that the monument was specifically erected and paid for by former slaves as a celebration of the Emancipation Proclamation. Fortunately, the angry mob eventually dispersed.
On Sunday, Trump also listed down the fifteen individuals who were suspected of attempting to pull down President Andrew Jackson’s monument in Lafayette Square Park near the White House. The President wrote in a social media post warning that the individuals might face charges for violating the Vandalization of Federal Property, and might be looking at a 10-year prison sentence.
Even religious figures were not exempted from the attacks. On Saturday, Catholic supporters came out to defend a statue of St. Louis after protesters attempted to bring it down over racism allegations. People stood around the monument while praying the rosary as an angry group berated them. Even religious leaders came out to give rioters a history lesson. A priest with the St. Louis Archdiocese, Rev. Stephen Schumacher, tried to explain a lesson on King Louis IX. “Go down to the St. Louis Cathedral, and you’ll see some of the history that St. Louis did,” the priest said. However, none of the protesters listened. In fact, one of the protesters responded that the cathedral is their next target.
Arguments continue at the Louis IX statue. There have been a few scuffles; last police officer left about 20 minutes ago despite lingering tensions. pic.twitter.com/bxbHnEz16X— Joel Currier (@joelcurrier) June 27, 2020