KALISPELL, MT – Police arrested a man who used a chain and pickup truck to pull down a Ten Commandments monument on courthouse property.
Anthony Weimer, 30, of Columbia Falls was charged with felony criminal mischief following the incident Saturday in Kalispell, NBC KHQ reported.
The Kalispell Police Department, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Highway Patrol responded to 800 South Main Street for a report of a man that had been seen hooking a chain to the monument on the courthouse grounds Saturday around 3:45 p.m.
A June 28 press release from the Kalispell Police Department says the granite monument was pulled from the ground and dragged onto the southbound lane of South Main Street.
— New York Post (@nypost) June 28, 2020
Fox News reported that the suspect then collected the chain and drove off in his pickup truck, leaving the monument behind.
However, according to the police department’s press release, officers from the Kalispell Police Department quickly located the suspect and his vehicle. Weimer is currently incarcerated at the Flathead County Detention Center and is being held on charges of felony criminal mischief.
It is currently unknown why Weimer pulled the monument from the ground, according to NBC KHQ, but it follows a recent trend of monuments and statues being vandalized across the country.
Man arrested for taking down Kalispell monument with chain, pickup truckhttps://t.co/miNUAwYbbp
— NBC Montana (@NBCMontana) June 28, 2020
The Ten Commandments monument has reportedly been a local source of contention for some people over the years.
The Lewiston Tribune reported in 2012 that the Kalispell City Council was asked by the Fraternal Order of the Eagles to take legal possession of the Ten Commandments monument and six others, which included historical texts from the Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence.
Together, the monuments formed a “cornerstone of law” display. Photos of the monuments are posted on the website of Jefferson Madison Center for Religious Liberty.
“It’s a nice gesture, and it’s a nice thought, but ultimately I don’t think it’s worth the trouble,” said Council member Randy Kenyon in 2012.
The council declined to take possession of the monuments because it feared a lawsuit that could claim a violation of the First Amendment and separation of church and state.
The Lewiston Tribune reported that the Flathead Area Secular Humanist Association (FASHA) threatened legal action if such a move took place.
The founder of FASHA, Ian Cameron, told the Billings Gazette:
“A lot of people have really strong feelings about the Ten Commandments personally, and I respect that.
“It could mean something to me even, but the issue here is not what it means to us personally. It’s about whether or not we want our government to be making those decisions for us or to be promoting those ideas.”
The Fraternal Order of the Eagles had given the Ten Commandments monument to Flathead County in 1950, and it was placed in front of the courthouse. However, some people took issue with the monument’s connection with Christianity so local Eagles raised funds to purchase other monuments to create a display about laws and not religion.
The county moved the monuments from the front of the courthouse to the southwest corner during a renovation project that was completed in 2011. Fred Bryant, a member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, had requested the city to take possession and move the monuments next to the current veterans’ memorial in Depot Park.
Police in northwestern Montana say a man was arrested on a felony criminal mischief charge after a Ten Commandments monument was pulled down.
— Great Falls Tribune (@GFTribune) June 28, 2020
“The other monuments that had been purchased to support the Ten Commandments monument are pretty important to veterans,” said Bryant, a Navy veteran. “I and many others had fought for those ideas, and quite a few people have died for them.”
County Administrator Mike Pence said the statues cannot be moved back to their old location at the front of the courthouse due to underground utilities.
“We moved them to a spot that we thought would be a good place on the campus,” Pence said. “We’re fine with them being where they are.”
Fox News reports Weimer has a court appearance on Monday.
We have seen a rising trend of monuments and statues being defaced, vandalized, and toppled since these recent riots started. Law Enforcement Today has been reporting on many instances.
In 1939, the Nazi Empire, led by Adolf Hitler, invaded Poland, starting a war that would last several years and take over seventy million lives.
Hitler, who led the Nazi’s, worked toward taking over the majority of Europe during his reign of terror. The Nazi party was also responsible for the brutal genocide of millions of Jews.
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese, who were allied with the Nazi’s, conducted a bombing raid on a military installation, Pearl Harbor. The loss of life and equipment was severe, but led to President Roosevelt, a Democrat, to urge congress to declare war. On December 8, 1941, Congress gave the declaration.
For most American’s, the above short history lesson should not be necessary. Thousands of American lives were lost keeping the war in Europe and eventually the fall of the Nazi party.
However, the current events seem to dictate that America needs to be reminded that those places that have been erected as shrines to the true hero’s of America, places of honor, reverence, and remembrance of what people sacrificed for us to be free.
Monuments across the United States are being torn down or defaced in an alarming rate.
Two statues on a Confederate monument on North Carolina's State Capitol grounds were toppled by protesters, as Confederate statues and monuments have been removed across the country amid widespread protests. https://t.co/ZSGrz95aGF pic.twitter.com/2URshgZDOr
— ABC News (@ABC) June 20, 2020
Today, in North Carolina, a 20-foot memorial at the Evergreen Cemetery was defaced.
The manner in which the damage was caused was by drawing a hammer and a sickle (a symbol of communism) with paint over the names of over 500 residents from the area that died during the war.
Words are written over the walls and part of the monument which gives a quote referencing the killing of over two hundred people by their military that had forcefully taken over prisons in Peru.
NOW: Crews have removed the North Carolina Women of the Confederacy monument in downtown Raleigh.
This comes after protesters pulled down two other confederate statues from the area last night. pic.twitter.com/3qntL1ftYJ
— Bridget Chapman (@bridgetchapman_) June 20, 2020
Keeping these statutes, if nothing else, reminds civilization of the mistakes we have made as a country.
Destroying monuments that are dedicated to soldiers, heroes, that gave their lives in defending this county is unfathomable. To place graffiti signifying communism over American Patriots is a shock to the soul.
The people who believe that communism is better than the system we have here, I invite them to move to Russia or any other country which has that system in place. Live under the constant surveillance, see the economy destroyed in short periods of time, for every place communism has been tried, it has failed miserably.
Confederate monument in Greenville, North Carolina (home of East Carolina University) is coming down. https://t.co/GfW9ZIE7K1
— Aylett Colston (@EveryVoiceNC) June 22, 2020
People who idealize socialism and communism have no real concept of how it works. The people are supposedly upset at the unlawful and avoidable killing of George Floyd, but yet they are destroying monuments dedicated to the lives of those that fought to give them the freedom to demonstrate?
The freedom to voice their displeasure to those in power and get to live to see the next day?
Try that in North Korea, see how well that works out.
People need to wake up and realize that they are causing more harm to their cause than good. Reasonable people are getting fed up with the fighting, the looting, the rioting that are destroying people’s way of life.
We are coming to a tipping point, where the reasonable people will no longer just allow this horror play out.
We spoke on Monday night with a United States Marine veteran who later became a police officer. He spoke with LET on the condition that we’d mask his identity.
“I’m sitting here watching again and again as these statues are defaced and come down. And I’m not the only one,” he said.
He went on to say he fought for their freedom to protest… but this is quickly turning into something else.
“The boys and I chat every single day. We are seeing the chaos. The anarchy. And there’s going to come a moment… a monument, a person who gets attacked… I’m not sure what… but we are going to decide we’ve had enough.”
Law Enforcement Today has been reporting on monuments getting vandalized and torn down for weeks.
Here’s one of our reports on an incident in Portland, Oregon.
One of these days, protestors are going to burn the flag in front of the wrong American.
Protesters in Portland wrapped an American flag around the head of a statue of George Washington, lit it on fire, and then toppled the statue this past week.
By the time police arrived on the scene, no one was around except a news crew; the statue was face down covered in graffiti, charred remains of the flag on the ground.
“Thursday marked the 21st day of protests in Portland sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
Two groups — Rose City Justice and Lavender Caucus — hosted a sit-in rally at Jefferson High School in the evening where community members shared their experiences with racism to a crowd of a few hundred.
The group did not hold a march.
A separate group of about 20 people met at NE Sandy Boulevard and NE 57th Avenue around 10 p.m. at the site of a large bronze statue of George Washington. Some wrapped the statue’s head in an American flag and lit the flag on fire.
Their numbers grew over the next hour until there were enough people to pull the statue to the ground. They quickly scattered. A KOIN 6 News crew found the statue face down and covered in graffiti. Portland police arrived a short time later.”
The monument and its base were covered in spray-painted text such as: “Murder,” “Big Floyd,” “F— Cops,” “BLM,” “Damn white men” and “White fragility.”
A self-proclaimed “citizen journalist” posted the video to Twitter, using multiple hashtags, to include ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards).
— Garrison Davis (Teargas Proof) (@hungrybowtie) June 19, 2020
Speaking of journalists and hashtags…how about this post from KOIN 6’s own Jennifer Dowling:
Speaker says “the time is now”. #BlackLivesMatter. #koin6news #pdxprotest #Portland #PortlandAutonomousZone #BLMPDX #RoseCity #protest #2020Protests #BlackTransLivesMatter #autonomouszone #rosecityjustice #BLM #NoJusticeNoPeace #SayHisName #SayHerName #BreonnaTayor #GeorgeFloyd pic.twitter.com/juX9rtUm0Z
— Jennifer Dowling (@JenDowlingKoin6) June 19, 2020
So much for unbiased reporting. And before you think it was an isolated tweet…here are a few more from the Portland news anchor.
Protesters are being told to go west by police. Officers are announcing it is an “unlawful assembly”. #koin6news #PDX #Portland #protesters #Oregon #2020Protests #BLMpdx #BLM #Juneteenth #BLM #police pic.twitter.com/dfNXxPNHQy
— Jennifer Dowling (@JenDowlingKoin6) June 20, 2020
— Jennifer Dowling (@JenDowlingKoin6) June 20, 2020
What does not show in these images, are the BLM fist logos that Dowling and other KOIN reporters have intertwined in their hashtags.
Now, back to statues.
“On Sunday, a statue of Thomas Jefferson, the United States’ third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, was defaced and torn down outside a Portland high school.
Photos obtained by Oregon Live show the base of the monument was spray-painted in black with ‘slave owner’ and ‘George Floyd.’
The statue, which was situated in front of Jefferson High School, was yanked down following a protest against police brutality organized by Rose City Justice.
‘There’s an interesting piece of history up here… Mr. Thomas is all beside himself,’ one protester said of the statue being toppled.
‘We’re taking this city back,’ the organizer added. ‘One school at a time. One racist statue at a time.’”
Statues commemorating and memorializing our founding fathers are not the only things being vandalized as part of the “peaceful” protests that supposedly seek love and tolerance.
Police in the city of Dover have arrested a 42-year-old suspect they allege to be responsible for vandalizing the Delaware Law Enforcement Memorial. What led to this suspect’s arrest, according to police, was a misplaced cell phone left at the scene of the memorial.
This law enforcement memorial in front of Legislative Hall helps us remember the brave men and women – in Delaware and across our country – who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting all of us. This kind of vandalism is unacceptable.https://t.co/noVs6dqKz6
— Governor John Carney (@JohnCarneyDE) June 12, 2020
Authorities have charged Kyle Bullock for the damage sustained by the Delaware Law Enforcement Memorial on June 12, after locals reported seeing someone hitting the memorial with a sledgehammer in the early morning hours.
The Dover Police Department had gotten the call about the vandalism at approximately 5:35 a.m. on the 12th, but when police arrived at the scene, there was no suspect initially found.
The memorial, which portrayed a kneeling officer, was shown to have sustained severe damage to the portion of the officer’s neck.
At the scene, police also found a discarded axe and two Delaware state flags that had been allegedly urinated on.
But there was more at the scene than just the axe and desecrated state flags – police also found a cell phone.
Bullock had shown up to the scene of the vandalized memorial while officers were investigating the damage and told police that he’d lost his cell phone while participating during a protest sometime earlier and was seeing if police had seen one lying around.
Authorities say that video evidence obtained later on during the investigation showed the person in search of his cell phone happened to also be the vandal they were looking for.
Police were said to have quickly obtained a warrant for Bullock’s arrest, and took him into custody at his residence during the evening of the 12th.
Bullock was arrested for felony criminal mischief resulting in damage over $5,000 and was held on a cash bond of $5,100.
This anti-cop sentiment has been widespread, and even managed to make it’s way into the great state of Texas.
There’s been a myriad of instances of vandalism and graffiti that have cropped up during the protests that swept throughout the country.
But one vandalism case depicting a police officer hanging from a noose found on the side of a Houston tattoo shop is very telling of the sentiments of some of these vandals among the protesters.
The disturbing mural was said to be found along the side of the building of 290 Ink in Houston. Apparently, the owner of the tattoo parlor had painted over the alarming depiction of violence upon discovering the graffiti.
Houston Police Officers’ Union President Joe Gamaldi had a picture of the vandalism, and posted said image to Facebook with the following caption:
“We are better than this Houston. Also, the dirtbag who painted this didn’t even get our uniform shirt right.”
On the post, Gamaldi further noted that while portions of the population are emotional at this time, showcasing images of killing police officers does not meaningfully contribute to the national dialogoue:
“We realize emotions are running high, but this solves nothing and helps nothing. We are very thankful to the owner of this property, who after discovering this hateful graffiti, painted over it immediately. This image does not represent the view of 99.99% of Americans and we will not let hate run our city. We are #HoustonStrong.”
A mural depicting a peace officer hanging from a noose was discovered on the side of a building in Houston, Texas. https://t.co/YPX7y5BTHE
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) June 6, 2020
The police union president also mentioned within the post that if anyone has insight as to who might have painted the abhorrent depiction, to please reach out to their Facebook page via Messenger.
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