(Reuters) – Protesters pulled down a statue of a Confederate general in Washington late on Friday, part of a wave of anti-racism demonstrations in the United States.
Television images showed the statue of Albert Pike, which was located near Judiciary Square, being pulled down with ropes as protesters cheered “Black Lives Matter.” They then used flammable liquid to set a fire on the statue. Police put out the fire.
The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country! @MayorBowser
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 20, 2020
President Donald Trump said in a tweet, “The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!”
There have been protests against racism and police brutality across the country and around the world since George Floyd, a Black man, died in Minneapolis police custody last month. Some of the focus has been calls for authorities take down monuments honoring figures from the pro-slavery Confederate side in the American Civil War.
The statue toppling in Washington took place at the end of a day when thousands of people marched through U.S. cities in Juneteenth observances commemorating the abolition of slavery.
(Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Frances Kerry)