Trump orders ‘long prison terms’ for toppling statues+Videos
US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to prosecute racial justice protesters who have been toppling Confederate statues and defacing statues of Christopher Columbus, the Founding Fathers and others.
“I just had the privilege of signing a very strong Executive Order protecting American Monuments, Memorials, and Statues – and combating recent Criminal Violence,” Trump tweeted. “Long prison terms for these lawless acts against our Great Country!”
In some American cities, protesters have pulled down or defaced statues and monuments of historical figures, such as Confederate leaders, who backed slavery.
Following the order, the White House said those individuals who toppled or vandalized monuments “seek nothing more than to destroy anything that honors our past and to erase from the public mind any suggestion that our past may be worth honoring.”
The order calls for “enforcement of laws that carry firm penalties of incarceration for those found guilty of desecrating public monuments,” the White House added.
In an interview with Fox News a day earlier, Trump promised “retribution” for demonstrators who toppled statues and referred to them as “vandals,” and “terrorists.”
“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the US with up to 10 years in prison,” Trump tweeted Tuesday.
Another black man choked to death
Authorities in the US state of Colorado are to reinvestigate the last year’s death of a young black man in police custody in the wake of recent public outrage over racism.
Jared Polis, the Colorado governor, appointed a special prosecutor to re-examine the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, an unarmed black man who lost his life days after he was put in a chokehold by three policemen and injected with a powerful sedative.
During the incident, paramedics injected him with ketamine and he lapsed into a coma from which he never recovered.
Polis said in a series of tweets that he had heard from many Coloradans who had “expressed concerns with the investigation of Elijah McClain’s death.”
Nearly 2.7 million people have signed a petition calling for justice and demanding that a more in-depth probe be held.
McClain’s case came under fresh spotlight following the death of George Floyd last month.
The death of Floyd on May 25 was captured on video while a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes in Minneapolis.
The killing has revived the debate about race relations in America and prompted minority groups across the country and other parts of the world to vent their long-felt indignation about police brutality, racial inequality and systemic racism.
Moreover, monuments honoring certain historical figures, most of them racism and slavery era icons, have been removed in the United States and around the world following Floyd’s death.