President Trump Promises "Strong Sentences" For Monument Demonstrators

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As demonstrators vandalize and topple monuments across the country, including a statue of Andrew Jackson in Washington DC, President Trump is threatening arrests and prison time. He said he will soon issue an executive order to protect monuments.

President Trump said in tweets Tuesday morning that anyone who vandalizes a monument on federal land can be arrested and face as much as 10 years in prison, and encouraged State Governments to protect their monuments. He said he authorized federal officials to retroactively punish anyone who has already damaged a monument. 

Federal law already says anyone who vandalizes monuments to members of the U.S. armed forces can be punished with 10 years in prison. Protesters tried to tear down a statue of Andrew Jackson in a park near the White House Monday night but were met with officers in riot gear who used pepper spray against them.

Jackson enslaved scores of people and his ruthless treatment of Native Americans has made monuments to him a target for demonstrators protesting the United States’ legacy of racial injustice.

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