MIAMI: According to city police, 7 protesters were arrested in Miami for vandalizing the statues of Christopher Columbus and Juan Ponce de Leon.
This arrest comes just a day after several other statues were damaged. A statue of Columbus was also damaged in Richmond, Virginia and one beheaded in Boston, Massachusetts. The arrest happened after the police had a confrontation with protesters on Wednesday.
The chaotic scene ensued in Miami when police arrived were protesters had spray-painted the statues of Columbus and Ponce de Leon with the name “George Floyd” and “BLM”. Protesters also painted a hammer and sickle and police say they were assaulted and their car damaged when they arrived on scene.
When announcing the arrests, police said there would be no tolerance for such behavior. “There is zero tolerance for those who hide behind the peaceful protesters to incite riots, damage property, and hurt members of the public or our officers,” said police.
In a video released by the Miami Herald, police can be seen shoving and tackling protesters to the ground. Other officers are seen pushing protesters away from the scene.
Protesters Say They Are Tired Of Being Peaceful While Police Break The Peace
“We’ve been peaceful all week long and you just broke that peace,” said Dombroff. Richard Dombroff is a peaceful demonstrator who was given an award by the city for preventing other protesters from damaging property in late May.
The protests on Wednesday were put together in the memory of 18-year-old Israel Hernandez who was killed by police officers after being stunned in 2013.
The Christopher Columbus statues are vandalized very often in October on Columbus Day. The explorer has become a polarizing figure for many over disputes of his genocide against the indigenous people.
Native American advocates have long pushed for the states to make alterations to Columbus Day and change the name to Indigenous Peoples Day.