RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Two Confederate monuments were spray-painted overnight in Richmond.
The Jefferson Davis Monument was spray-painted with the phrase “This is Racist,” and the Stonewall Jackson Monument was spray-painted with the phrase “God is Gay.”
Richmond Police say an officer checking on the statues spotted the Davis vandalism around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. The Jackson graffiti was reported five hours later, around 9:30 a.m.
“I don’t think vandalism is a good thing to do, especially to statues. But I mean, I think expressing your opinion is good, but not that certain way,” said Caroline Reeves, who was visiting Richmond.
Aidan Beckman, a Richmond resident said, “I get a slight sense of satisfaction seeing something I disagree with being defaced, but I kind of feel like it doesn’t further the conversation in any useful way.”
And that conversation was key at Monday’s city council meeting.
The monuments have been vandalized repeatedly as the debate over their future ramps up, and taxpayers keep footing the bill to clean them.
“It’s more divisive than uniting, and in this day and age in this country, we don’t need more division,” said Mark Lender of Richmond.
Governor Ralph Northam’s office sent a statement to NBC12 that reads:
"...vandalism is not acceptable, no matter how you feel about these statues. Instead, Governor Northam encourages all individuals to make their voices heard on this and other issues during the upcoming General Assembly session. He will continue to support legislation to give Richmond and all localities the power to make decisions about the monuments in their communities. "
Richmond police have no information on suspects at this time. They ask for anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000.
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