Four Charged in Attempt to Topple Andrew Jackson Statue Near White House
The Justice Department announced charges against four individuals in connection with the attack on the Andrew Jackson statue in D.C.’s Lafayette Square earlier this week. The charges come a day after President Trump signed an executive order instructing federal prosecutors to charge those who seek to destroy federal property to the fullest extent of the law.
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 with destruction of federal property.
The complaint alleges that on June 22 the four men and a number of other unidentified individuals damaged and attempted to topple the Andrew Jackson statue located in Lafayette Square. Cantrell was allegedly filmed while attempting to pry the statue from its base with a wooden board and using a yellow strap in an attempt to pull it down. Defendants Lane and Judd were allegedly filmed attempting to pull down the statue, and Loyd was allegedly filmed destroying the wheels on the cannons at the base of the statue. Loyd is also accused of pulling on ropes in an attempt to topple that statue and handing a hammer to an unidentified individual.
Judd was arrested on Friday and appeared in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Saturday. The other three defendants have yet to be arrested. President Trump tweeted U.S. Park Service bulletins on Saturday of 15 suspects the agency is asking the public’s assistance in identifying.
The president’s executive order, signed on Friday, authorizes a penalty of up to 10 years imprisonment for the wilful injury of federal property and holds up federal support to state and local governments that do not protect government property.