• A protester was seriously injured when a Confederate statue fell on his head
  • The incident happened after activists vandalized a Confederate statue in Portsmouth 
  • The injured man lost consciousness due to a head laceration
  • He was brought to a hospital in critical condition 

A protester in Portsmouth was seriously injured after a vandalized Confederate statue crashed right on his head amid a Black Lives Matter demonstration late Wednesday (June 10).

As protests over the death of African-American George Floyd raged across the nation, some have resulted in violence and clashed with the police, while others maintained their composure with peaceful marches and gatherings as they demand justice and end racism.

Some people are now setting their sights on “controversial” Confederate statues and other monuments. According to Fox News, demonstrators see these as “symbols of racism and white supremacy,” thus venting their anger on these figures.

Protestors hold up signs on the graffiti-covered pedestal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia
Protestors hold up signs on the graffiti-covered pedestal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia AFP / Ryan M. Kelly

“It's a symbol that represents an ideology of white supremacy. It really speaks to the consciousness of a city and of a people that would allow such an image of hate to continue to stand all these years,” Mark Whitaker told The Virginian-Pilot.

Whitaker, a former city councilman, added that he raised the issue of removing the monument at a City Council meeting five years ago.

Whitaker's son, Nate, described the monument as a representation of “hate.” He also pointed out that the figure does not belong to a city “that is predominantly black,” or any city for that matter.

The incident happened when protesters gathered on Court Street. They took turns vandalizing the monument with graffiti and paint. According to RT News, the local landmark is made up of a “large granite obelisk surrounded by four generic bronze soldiers and sailors.”

By nightfall, activists decided to “dismantle” the four figures. Bolt cutters, hammers and other objects were used as demonstrators slowly took down the monument. The soldiers' muskets and swords were the first to be removed, followed by their heads.

Once the statues were decapitated, protesters tried to take them off their bases. As they yanked one of the statues, it apparently fell on one of the demonstrators. 13News Now said the man appeared to be seriously hurt.

The injured protester lost consciousness due to a head laceration “so deep that his skull could be seen through the wound,” according to RT News, citing statements from eyewitnesses.

Portsmouth police intervened and secured the area with crime scene tape as the protester was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.