COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — Six people were arrested after police say they were caught vandalizing a Confederate monument in the Collierville Town Square.
Aaron Boggan, Marissa Kizer, Haley Rainwater, Valada Volkova, Vada Bronsink and Chloe Perkins were arrested and charged with vandalism of over $1,000.
According to police, the group was caught spraying paint and pouring an adhesive and feathers on the monument just before 3 a.m. Friday.
The suspects jumped into two separate vehicles, but were stopped by police at Center and South Rowlett.
Authorities said none of the supects live in Collierville. Crews were out Friday cleaning up the mess left behind.
Collierville Community Justice released a statement denouncing the vandalism, stating the organization did not plan the action and do not advocate for vandalism of the marker.
“The destruction of the marker is not our goal, but its removal or relocation and for a contextual marker to be placed alongside it explaining the problematic and racist history it represents,” the statement reads in part.
Back in September several protesters gathered in the town square to demand the removal of a Civil Water battle marker commemorating the battles fought in Collierville. It was placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Full statement from Collierville Community Justice:
Along with the rest of the Collierville community, we have just been made aware that several people were arrested for vandalizing the Confederate Marker. WE DID NOT plan this action. We never have nor would we ever advocate for vandalism of the marker. The destruction of the marker is not our goal, but its removal or relocation and for a contextual marker to be placed alongside it explaining the problematic and racist history it represents. Tennessee state law defines a procedure for applying to remove or relocate historical markers, and that is the legal procedure we have been pursuing and that we will continue to pursue.
Collierville Community Justice is made up of a diverse coalition of Collierville citizens who want to advance racial justice in the Town of Collierville. While removal of the Confederate Marker in our Town Square Park is what originally brought us together, our vision is for a more equitable Collierville for all. We want to encourage our town’s leaders to confront racism and inequality in our community directly and not continue to sweep these issues under the rug as they have done in the past. We want to see structural and institutional changes that elevate the lives, histories, and experiences of Black and Brown people of Collierville.
We hope that the individuals who vandalized this marker recognize that this action does not help our movement for racial justice and equity in Collierville. Additionally, we hope that those who are angered by this act of vandalism will wrestle with the question of why the temporary defacing of physical property is more disturbing to them than racism and white supremacy.
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