‘We are looking at long-term jail sentences for these vandals…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) The U.S. Marshals Service has reportedly been asked to prepare to protect monuments nationwide as part of President Trump’s vow to crackdown on mobs that try to tear down historical statues.
Marshals Service Assistant Director Andrew Smith informed the agency that they had been “asked to immediately prepare to provide federal law enforcement support to protect national monuments (throughout the country),” he said, according to an email obtained by the Washington Post.
The directive seems to have come from Attorney General William Barr, because the subject line of the email read, “Attorney General Assignment,” according to the Post.
Preventing widespread vandalism would be “challenging,” Smith admitted in the email, considering the “breadth of possible targets for criminal activity.”
So the U.S. Marshals Incident Management Team will begin by opening a joint operations center to coordinate with various agencies. Each district and division must then identify personnel who could be reassigned to help with the initiative, Smith added.
The mobs have targeted statues nationwide, including figures of Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, and Andrew Jackson.
After protesters tried to tear down Jackson’s statue in Washington, D.C., Trump vowed to punish the vandals and said Tuesday that he would sign an executive order that would reinforce laws protecting monuments.
“We are looking at long-term jail sentences for these vandals and these hoodlums and the anarchists and agitators, and call them whatever you want,” Trump said. “Some people don’t like that language, but that’s what they are. They’re bad people. They don’t love our country. And they’re not taking down our monuments. I just want to make that clear.”
Existing law makes it criminal to destroy “any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.”
Trump’s executive order would simply “reinforce what’s already there, but in a more uniform way,” he explained.