$1,500 reward offered for info on Confederate monument vandalism

$1,500 reward offered for info on Confederate monument vandalism

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Richmond Police are offering a $1,500 reward for any information that leads to the arrest of vandals who struck a Confederate monument last month.

The reward, funded by the Virginia Flaggers, is offered to help catch the person responsible for spray-painting "Black Lives Matter" on the Jefferson Davis Monument on June 25. Work to remove the paint continues more than a month later.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Richmond Police Captain Emmett Williams at (804) 646-1412 or email Emmett.Williams@richmondgov.com.


City workers power-washed the graffiti off the more than 100-year-old monument, but weren't able to remove all the writing. Protesters holding signs that also said "Black Lives Matter" demonstrated at the site after the vandalism. At one point a man donning a Confederate flag bandanna arrived with a can of "Goof Off" spray paint remover and tried to further remove the graffiti, although it may have actually done more damage to the monument in the process.

Another man also vandalized the monument days later. Joe Weindl pleaded guilty in court Thursday to tagging an "L" for loser on the statue on June 28. He reportedly spray painted the L in opposition to Confederate relics and monuments. He was charged with destruction of city property.

Weindl was sentenced to 90 days suspended and 100 hours of community service. He will be on probation for three years. His attorney, Daniel Watkins, said earlier this week that his client regrets the action. Weindl says he didn't spray paint the "black lives matter" graffiti onto the monument. No arrests have been made in that vandalism case.

Jefferson Davis was President of the Confederate States of America. The monument was sculpted by Edward Valentine and unveiled on June 3, 1907. It is one of several dedicated to the Confederacy along Monument Avenue in Richmond. Others include Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Fontaine Maury. A monument to Richmond-native Arthur Ashe was added in 1996, three years after the tennis player's death.

Monument Avenue is now home to several historic homes and is a highlight for tourists and home to events in Richmond. Each year tens of thousands run past the monuments during the Monument Avenue 10k. The upcoming Richmond 2015 UCI Road World Championships will include Monument Avenue on many of the courses in September. However, a group known as the Defenders for Freedom, Justice and Equality has called for the course to be moved.

Red spray paint reading RBGZ and an upward arrow covered one side of the base, while vandals wrote explicit language and the initials R. E. B. Richmond Police did not immediately respond to a call for comment and it is unknown whether there are any suspects.

The monument was built in 1894 on 29th Street atop Libby Hill and has a bronze Confederate soldier standing on top of a towering pillar.

The Confederate monuments in Richmond have been the subject of debate, as Confederate flags came down following the deadly shootings in Charleston.

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