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4 men charged in attack on Andrew Jackson’s statue near White House

The square has been the site of protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.

SNS | New Delhi |

At least four people were charged by federal authorities in connection with a failed effort last week to pull down the statue of President Andrew Jackson near the White House.

On Saturday, authorities allege that the men damaged and attempted to tear down the Jackson statue, which is located in Lafayette Square, last Monday.

The square has been the site of protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis.

Those charged are 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.

Judd was arrested on Friday and appeared in Superior Court of the District of Columbia on Saturday, authorities said. The other three have not been apprehended. The FBI and the US Park Police have been investigating the incident.

The US Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement the complaint 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.

On Monday, many demonstrators were pushed back by at least 100 security force personnel after they had thrown ropes around the statue of Andrew Jackson, the divisive seventh US president, in Lafayette Park.

Jackson, in office from 1829 to 1837, owned more than 500 slaves over the course of his life and was a key figure in the forced relocation of at least 60,000 Native Americans, otherwise known as the Trail of Tears.

The clash over Jackson’s statue part is of the latest movement in the protests: tearing down statues and monuments to individuals linked to the US’ racist past.