Six people were arrested after a statue of George Washington was toppled over and spray-painted near Los Angeles City Hall earlier this week, police said Saturday.
A small group was gathered for a protest in the downtown area near the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration building around 6:40 p.m. Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Social media posts indicate the demonstration was to speak out against colonialism and white supremacy, with flyers for the protest showing a photo of Mount Rushmore with “slave owners” written across it.
LAPD officers who responded to the protest saw “numerous people pulling on red ‘bands’ that were tied around the neck portion of the George Washington Statue in Grand Park,” LAPD said in a news release.
“Ultimately, the George Washington Statue broke from the base and fell to the ground,” police said. “The group, including the six people arrested, cheered and celebrated as others vandalized and spray painted the statue.”
Video posted to Twitter shows a red band around the bronze statue’s neck being pulled, and photos show the statue on the ground, with an anarchy symbol spray-painted on the platform along with the words “slave owner.”
After the statue was brought down, those involved hid nearby to change their clothes, but they were then arrested by LAPD officers in the area of Spring and Temple streets, according to the news release.
Those arrested are 20-year-old Elizabeth Brookey of Burbank; 28-year-old Anna Asher and 30-year-old Barham Lashley, both of North Hollywood; 22-year-old Andrew Johnson of Glendale; and 23-year-old Emma Juncosa and 33-year-old Christopher Woodard, both of Los Angeles.
The department said they found a gas mask, laser pointer, helmet, goggles and arm protectors in the belongings of those arrested.
All six were booked on $20,000 bail, according to county inmate records.
The life-size bronze statue of the first U.S. president dressed in a Revolutionary War military uniform is one of 30 bronze copies of the original 1796 sculpture by the French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon. The original stands in the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, according to the L.A. Department of Arts and Culture.
The one that stood in Grand Park was bought by the Women’s Community Service and presented to L.A. County in 1933.