CPD: Vandalism of Lee Statue Not Caught on Surveillance Camera
Charlottesville police say the camera that was supposed to be on the Lee statue had been turned, and as a result, the they do not have video of the vandalism.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The investigation into the vandalism of a statue in a Charlottesville park might take a little longer for police to solve.
Authorities had placed unmarked surveillance cameras at both Emancipation and Justice parks sometime in June. Both parks are home to a statue of Confederate Army general – Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson, respectively – and have been the center of controversy for the city.
The Charlottesville Police Department told NBC29 on Thursday, July 20, that the camera that was supposed to be on the Lee statue had been turned, and that the culprit(s) came from behind the statue.
As a result, the department does not have video of the vandalism.
Charlottesville Police admit that they probably will never discover the identity of the vandal or vandals from that night.
"The cameras were put up to view the parks themselves and where people would gather in case we had something that occurred, someone was injured, or illegal activity took place so we could see that. They weren't setup on the statues. The camera does not point at the statues," said Major Gary Pleasants with Charlottesville Police Deptartment.
The statue's base was tagged with graffiti that said "Native Land," and covered in red paint sometime in the overnight hours of Friday, July 7, into Saturday, July 8. Crews were able to remove the paint from the statue Saturday morning.
The vandalism happened just hours ahead of a rally by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Justice Park.
White activist Jason Kessler is scheduled to hold his "Unite the Right" rally at Emancipation Park on Saturday, August 12. Counter events are expected to take place the same day at Justice and McGuffey parks.
Kessler is the founder and president of Unity and Security for America, which has described itself as "dedicated to defending Western Civilization including its history, culture and peoples while utterly dismantling Cultural Marxism."