Confederate statue in Elwood Park vandalized over the weekend

The Confederate soldier statue in Elwood Park was vandalized over the weekend, according to the Amarillo Police Department and City of Amarillo officials.

 

City of Amarillo spokesman Jesse Patton said officials think that the statue was vandalized Sunday when someone spray-painted over the front of the monument. APD filed an incident report Monday morning just after 8 a.m. when they were alerted to the vandalism.

APD Sgt. Brent Barbee said the Amarillo Parks and Recreation Department was notified. By Monday afternoon, the red spray paint had been cleared off the statue, which memorializes Confederate soldiers.

No damage estimate was available Monday, according to APD. No arrests have been made or suspects identified.

The statue has been a hot topic in Amarillo and was discussed at an Aug. 22 Amarillo City Council meeting by members of several groups — including the NAACP, Amarillo Freedom Riders and Indivisible Amarillo.

That night at City Council brought a standing-room-only crowd, with about 100 people attending the public comment portion of the council meeting with a slight majority expressing their wish that the statue be removed, according to Globe-News archives.

Competing online petitions started last month, and by Aug. 21 a petition to keep the monument in place, backed by Amarillo Freedom Riders, had more than 4,900 signatures. A petition supported by Indivisible Amarillo to remove the statue had just over 800 at that time.

Both petitions drew many signatures from outside of Amarillo.

Members of the City Council contacted Aug. 21 said it was too early to comment definitively on removing or keeping the statue.

Mayor Ginger Nelson said she was open to a “measured,” unhurried conversation about the statue.

Confederate statues and monuments have been in the national spotlight since violent protests about a statue in Charlottesville Va. A 32-year-old woman was killed and others were injured there when a car driven by an alleged white supremacist plowed into a crowd.

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