A monument to Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy’s president during the Civil War, was found vandalized Thursday in Richmond, Virginia. Vandals have targeted statues with Confederacy imagery in southern cities since the racially motivated murder last week of nine people at an historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Vandals spray-painted the phrase “Black Lives Matter” on the Jefferson Davis monument, which is located on Richmond’s Monument Avenue, local CBS affiliate WTVR reported. The monument features an elevated statue of Davis. Richmond Police declined to comment on the vandalism.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced Tuesday the state will no longer allow the production license plates that feature the Confederate flag and ordered any existing license plates currently in use to be replaced, the Washington Post reported. But McAuliffe declined this week to support a petition that called for the removal of Confederate statues from Richmond.
“It is a part of our heritage. It’s who we are in Virginia. And it’s an important part of our heritage. The flag is different,” McAuliffe said, according to WTVR.
A different Jefferson Davis statue was vandalized at the University of Texas’ campus earlier this week, the San Antonio Express-News reports. The phrase “Black Lives Matter” was written in spray paint across the monument’s base. The university’s president started a task force to assess whether the statue should be removed from campus.
Similarly, a Confederate statue was vandalized with graffiti last Sunday in Charleston, hours before the reopening of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the shooting occurred. The words “Black Lives Matter” and “This was the problem #racist” were written on the statue in spray paint.
Dylann Roof, 21, remains in police custody on nine counts of murder and one count of weapons possession after he allegedly shot and killed nine people at Emanuel AME. Authorities confirmed last weekend that Roof wrote a racist manifesto on his personal website before the shooting.
— Lara Malbon McDuffie (@NBC12NewsDesk) June 25, 2015