Man Destroys Arkansas’ New Ten Commandments Display With His Truck
An Arkansas man obliterated the new Ten Commandments display outside the Arkansas Capitol Wednesday morning, by ramming it with his truck.
Michael Tate Reed of Van Buren, Ark. filmed himself on Facebook live running into the monument with his truck after exclaiming “Oh my goodness…Freedom.”
The monument was installed less than 24 hours before on Tuesday. Capitol police arrested Tate shortly after his act of vandalism and booked him into jail at 7:30 a.m, according to a report from ABC News.
Watch Video HERE
“As far as what happens to the monument, it’s unclear at this time. The first thing will be to clean up the debris,” said Chris Powell, the secretary of state’s office spokesman. The monument broke into several pieces upon falling over.
Reed faces charges of criminal trespass, defacing objects of public interest, and first-degree criminal mischief.
The Arkansas legislature permitted the monument’s installation with the passage of a law in 2015 and a state panel gave final approval to its 6 foot tall, 6,000 pound design a month ago, according to a report from Fox News.
The installation took place on Tuesday with no advance notice, but gained the ire of the ACLU who threatened to file a lawsuit over what they saw as blatant government support of religion, according to Rita Sklar, executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas.
“Whatever they may say, the defenders of the Ten Commandments monument, the fact is the text of the Ten Commandments cannot be separated from its religious significance as the text calls individuals to adhere to moral precepts and uniquely religious obligations,” Sklar said.
What will happen to the monument now remains uncertain, given not only its destruction, but the recent history of such displays near government buildings throughout the country. The Supreme Court ruled against two different 10 Commandments displays in Kentucky courthouses in 2005, but upheld another display outside Texas’ capitol building the same year. Arkansas’ new display was a replica of the one installed in Texas.
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