Trump says he’s authorized arrests, prison time for vandals targeting monuments

National

TOPSHOT – A statue of Confederate States President Jefferson Davis lies on the street after protesters pulled it down in Richmond, Virginia, on June 10, 2020. – The symbols of the Confederate States and its support for slavery are being targeted for removal following the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd while in police custody. (Photo by Parker Michels-Boyce / AFP) (Photo by PARKER MICHELS-BOYCE/AFP via Getty Images)

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – President Donald Trump says he’s given the federal government the green light to “arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S.”

“This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!” the president wrote on Twitter on Tuesday morning.

Protesters have toppled a number of Confederate monuments and other memorials as demonstrations against police violence continue to rock the country after the death of George Floyd.

A number of cities have ordered the statues removed, but many protesters have taken it upon themselves to remove them. On Monday evening, protesters attempted to take down a bronze statue of President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States, in a park next to the White House.

Trump says such offenses would be punishable with up to 10 years in prison, in accordance with the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act.

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