Four men have been charged with damaging and trying to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue near the White House, federal prosecutors announced Saturday night.
One, Connor Matthew Judd, has already been arrested and appeared in court Saturday.
The other three were at large as of the announcement, prosecutors said. They are identified as Lee Michael Cantrell, Ryan Lane and Graham Lloyd.
Prosecutors said all four were caught on video using straps to try to pull down the statue, which stands on federal land in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. The statue was targeted earlier this week as an outgrowth of the Black Lives Matter protests that have roiled cities across the country over the last month.
The four men also give a flavor of the protest” Mr. Judd, 20, is a resident of Washington,D.C.; Mr. Cantrell, 47, is from Virginia; Mr. Lane, 37, is from Maryland; and Mr. Lloyd, 37, is from Maine.
“This office remains steadfast in its commitment to protect the sacred First Amendment right of individuals to peacefully protest, but these charges should serve as a warning to those who choose to desecrate the statues and monuments that adorn our nation’s capital: your violent behavior and criminal conduct will not be tolerated,” said Michael R. Sherwin, the acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia.
Mr. Judd appeared Saturday in Superior Court but the case will be transferred to U.S. District Court, the Justice Department said.
Attorney General William P. Barr had said on Thursday that charges would be coming. He said agents were scouring video of the park to see who could be identified among the protesters.
President Trump has insisted those who tried to bring down the statue face charges in order to send a signal. Over the last couple of days he has been posting federal law enforcement “Wanted” posters to Twitter with photos of some of those the U.S. Park Police is attempting to apprehend for the statue attack.
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