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MORE: Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office releases surveillance footage of vandalism suspects



Update 6:41 p.m.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has released surveillance video of two possible suspects in the investigation of vandalism to the Confederate statue on the Loudoun County Courthouse grounds in Leesburg

The statue was spray-painted overnight Wednesday with graffiti that included obscene language. The two suspects in the video, which can be viewed at http://sheriff.loudoun.gov/statue, appear to be light-skinned males. Detectives continue to work to locate possible additional surveillance video of the suspects.

The graffiti was able to be quickly removed, and there was no permanent damage to the statue.


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Officials clear graffiti from the Confederate statue on the Leesburg courthouse grounds. Courtesy Photo/Dorothy Beal


Update: 2:54 p.m.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office is reviewing surveillance footage around the Confederate statue on the Leesburg courthouse grounds that was vandalized sometime overnight, according to LCSO spokesman Kraig Troxell.

Troxell said the sheriff’s office does not yet have a suspect, but received information that two light skinned males may have been involved in the incident.

The statue was spray-painted with graffiti that included obscene language. Because the investigation into the vandalism is still ongoing, Troxell declined to say what exactly the obscenity said.

Troxell said the obscenity was more directed at the statue itself and not specific to any particular group.

LCSO believes the incident occurred around or after midnight and by about 9:30 a.m. the graffiti was cleared from the statue.

The vandalism to Leesburg's Confederate statue comes just days after violent protests erupted in Charlottesville sparked by the city council voting earlier this year to remove the statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park, formerly called Lee Park.

The protests drew thousands of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and counter-protesters and claimed the life of a 32-year-old woman, Heather D. Heyer, when 20-year-old James Alex Fields Jr. reportedly drove a car through a crowd of people. Dozens more were left seriously injured. Fields now faces charges for her death.

Leesburg’s 109-year-old Confederate statue has been a subject of controversy for years.

Phillip Thompson, the president of the local chapter of the Loudoun County NAACP, condemned the vandalism and said he hoped that those responsible for the act would be found.

“We hope that the perpetrator(s) of this criminal act are ultimately brought to answer for their actions,” Thompson said. “We do not in any way condone or support any type of unlawful activity with regard to any issue, activity or property.”

Thompson also reiterated that the Loudoun NAACP would like to see the Confederate statue removed and relocated to Ball’s Bluff National Cemetery.

Former Leesburg Mayor Kristen Umstattd (D), who now represents the town on the county’s Board of Supervisors, said that following the events in Charlottesville and the president’s failure to condemn the white supremacists and alt-right groups involved, she is not surprised that people in the community are lashing out.

“You always hope that no one will vandalize any statue or building or fence, but given how high emotions are right now, I think especially in reaction to the president’s shameful failure to condemn Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists, I think you’re going to see more of this frustration breaking out around the South, the Midwest, anywhere where these Confederate monuments still stand,” said Umstattd, who supports moving the statue to Ball’s Bluff National Cemetery.

Earlier this week, Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large) said she plans to ask the General Assembly to give localities greater discretion over war monuments and memorials within their jurisdiction. In order for any item to go on the county’s legislative agenda, it must be approved by the full Board of Supervisors.

Umstattd said that at this point she thinks at least four members of the Board of Supervisors, including herself, are in favor of asking the General Assembly for more authority over monuments within their jurisdictions. But Umstattd thinks that winning a favorable opinion from the General Assembly will be difficult.

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division at 703-777-0475.

You may also submit a tip through the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office app. The Loudoun Sheriff app is available on the iTunes App Store and Google Play.


Contact the writer at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or on Twitter at @SydneyKashiwagi.

Comments


Federal Law of 1958 treats Confederate soldiers the same as all Armed Forces member; past, present, and future.  Will the Supervisors remove all war memorials from the courthouse grounds.  State law prevents the statues from being moved.  For now the debate is settled unless you don’t want to follow the law.  If the Supervisors want to make a change you can do then change the name/mascot of Loudoun County HS.  They are the Raiders named after Mosby’s Raiders; Confederate soldiers.  Their symbol is that of crossed civil war era swords.  Now that is change the county can mandate since the county controls the school budget.  Shouldn’t cost more than about a half million dollars to swap out the offending name/logo.  Maybe concentrate on that.


Robert E Lee was against statues and memorials, he said that they stopped the healing process. Guess he was right about 1 thing.


Sorry ECEC, they are already clamering for Washington’s and Jefferson’s scalps.  Al Sharpton wants the government to stop funding the Jefferson Memorial.  CNN commentator Angela Rye recently stated that statues of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Robert E Lee “all need to come down.”  My point is that the Sharpton’s and Rye’s and the others calling for removal of these statues and monuments don’t care that some of them are not explicitly “pro-slavery” monuments, as you state.  They don’t care about the amazing contributions Washington and Jefferson and the other founders made to this country.  They see them only through the myopic prism of “they owned slaves”, and probably don’t even know that Washington’s will stipulated his slaves were to be freed upon the death of his wife Martha.
The quote I attributed to Ms. Rye was sourced from CNN, not Fox News, by the way.


Throw a white sheet over the statute. Let the artists (or vandals if that is your opinion) do their thing to the sheet instead of the statue.  We have had many years of providing an exclusive space for promotion of Jim Crow and discrimination against minorities. Now is the time to give the opposition access to this public forum and an opportunity to express the other side’s opinions. Instead we have the police protecting the statute because it represents speech they agree with and thereby prevent any speech in protest. That’s not fair.


Remove the monuments to the battlefields and then they will call for the battlefields to be closed.  Then that land can house the government funded apartments for the illegal aliens oops undocumented workers/students/family members/future voters.


Arbiter9, I don’t see anyone asking to remove statues of Washington, Jefferson or any of our flawed founding fathers…they did manage to launch an amazing…and continuing…experiment in governance.  And that’s what we celebrate about them.

What I do see is a dead-ender bunch of bigots who want to pretend that nonsensical arguments like “tear down that Jefferson statue cause he had slaves” make sense and (they surely hope) manage to deflect us from a fundamental point:  there’s no pro-slavery monument honoring Jefferson.

We won’t get past this until we all start speaking the truth.


We don’t have monuments to others anywhere that I know of that lost wars to our country. Why should we have it to them? We won, they lost, pretty simple.


OK law abiding citizen, name caller, or Nazi, whichever you prefer, you cannot go to a local meeting and get anything done about confederate monuments.
They are protected by the state government and written into the laws of the state,  “shall be unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected”. That needs to change. How would you feel if you were black and had to go up against anyone white in that courthouse? You have a guy holding a gun that wanted to protect slavery,and thought blacks were not equal to whites, those things should be in war museums not in government places where they can intimidate people.


Before you history-deniers embarrass yourselves any further you should understand the Emancipation Proclamation was not delivered until 2 years into the Civil War and it only freed slaves in the South, not the North. The North was losing (definitely not winning) up until then: they barely won Sharpsburg (Antietam) and Lincoln decided to take up the cause of slavery at that point: prior to that, the North was simply fighting to preserve the Union NOT to abolish slavery, so please save your sanctimonious attitudes.

If a statue honoring dead Americans from a part of the country you obviously hate bothers you so much, please move back to Pennsylvania, (just not Gettysburg because there are A LOT of monuments honoring the South there.)


The lack of criticism by the board chair of those who damaged this property is stunning. It is only compounded by our mayor who all but said it is ok. These reactions are outrageous


There’s no difference, ECEC, according to the circus performers foaming at the mouth to remove these statues and monuments.  They’ll quite willingly consign Washington and Jefferson to the damnatio memoriae they seek to impose on Lee and Jackson, among others.


I’ll address this to those who use Fox News as a safe space:

I don’t think you’ll find a monument anywhere that glorifies George Washington or Thomas Jefferson because they enslaved people.

You will find monuments to men who fought to continue slave labor camps, indeed even used slaves to build fortifications for those battles.

Do you see the difference?


Dear Antifa, BLM and Snow Flakes,
there is such a thing as the rule of law in our country. There is also something called the democratic process. You can not take it upon yourself to follow the laws that you only like nor can you enact what a minority would like as well. If you do not like the confederate memorial please attend the next Board of Supervisors meeting or the Leesburg Town Council. At that time you may get to voice your opinion and if the elected officials would like to take it up for a vote they may do so at that time. If you decide to go outside this process and take it upon yourself to defame and damage the memorial you will suffer the consequences.

Sincerely,
Law Abiding Citizen


This “historical monument” in honor of those willing to take up arms to destroy America and fight to the death to maintain slavery is a symbol of what America is not about.  Washington, Jefferson and other founders are honored for creating (and fighting oppressive English) to form our great nation.  Confederate monuments is clearly a slap in the face against African-Americans who have suffered enough in our nation.  Violence and destruction is not the answer for either side though, so just take it down.


Loudoun4trump….get off the left…he North is rising up again….It’s not a liberal, it’s an American!!!!!


Well one things for sure, it wasn’t the KKK, Neo Nazi’s or the Arian Brothers Nation or a Trump supporter.  However, I think everyone here needs to read their history books and not only read them but UNDERSTAND THEM. When the south rose up, it was not American, they had no American values of equality or rights (unless you were a white land owner or slave owner) and the North kicked their a## in the most brutal war ever fought on American soil. Does anyone really know how close we came to losing freedom?  Those statues and monuments need to be left on the BATTLEFIELD AND IN MUSEUMS. Why do I want to go to the court house and look at a statue of a man that wanted to have human’s as slaves???  Why would this Nation leave up relics of Anti-American hero’s?  Why would so many people continue to gas light just to justify that every human has the right not to be owned by someone else?  The lines are drawn and the battle will rage and if we are not all blown up in a nuclear war with Korea or China, we will implode.


I noticed the two perps put their hoods on before they vandalized the statue….this type has plenty of experience donning hoods…


Why stop with the Confederate ones? Here’s a list of Statues Which Must Be Hauled Down Immediately Because These People Were Imperfect:

Albert Einstein - arrested twice for domestic abuse.
Our Founding Fathers - they owned slaves, obviously.
MLK - infidelity
Admiral Horatio Nelson - infidelity, killed a bunch of Spaniards.
Charlemagne - oppressed Muslims at the Battle of Tours.
Phil Lynott - drugs/booze.

The list is endless! In fact, ban all statues since they trigger body spasms in snowflakes.


There are so many real issues going on in this country and around the world.  Yet here we are fighting over what monument or memorial or flag or or building or school or road or anything else someone finds offensive to be defaced, destroyed, torn down, removed, renamed etc.  You have to joke or cry about it.  There is only one end to this and that is all identity is removed.  And that is where the government has complete control.


LocoLoco, now let’s be real here. Lawman condemned the vandalism and called for the vandals’ punishment. Sharpton will never call for equal application of the law.

Supporting the removal of the statue is a legitimate position even if I disagree. Lawman is sincere in that belief.

Umstattd is the one condoning criminal acts because of “frustration”. She is an enemy of peace.


I am offended by the Buffalo Soldiers who fought the Native Americans in over 100 engagements and more times then that marched them off to their reservations.  There is just as little to glorify with them as with the Confederates.  And if anything offends anyone at anytime WE MUST DESTROY IT! Legally of course.  Oh, you the mental giants of Loudoun, the Buffalo Soldiers were BLACK Troops in the American West after the Civil War. 

I am also offended by the Union Soldier Statues placed in the North by the 1000’s during the time of Jim Crow and Civil Rights.  These were placed just to intimidate Blacks who might think about moving north.  And any of these Yankee statutes which do no claim to have fought to end slavery but only to preserve the Union is offensive also.  Preserve the Union is code word for keeping the Blacks down south working in field and not competing for the white man’s jobs.

I am offended by Arlington House, the home of Robert E Lee, sitting high on a hill over looking the Lincoln Memorial.  That House should be remove just like every statue of Lee.

I am offended by Washington and Lee University.  It should be renamed King and X University!

This is just the beginning of what offends me.  But there is one last offense that has to go.  Those little umbrellas they put in drinks really offends me and they have to be remove and put in some museum or some place I can’t see them.


Amateur Hour in Leesburg. Law Enforcement will be paying even closer attention to the statue now, as they should.


The Lee family owned slaves. The name must be changed according to the Liberal standard. I think we need to take Obama’s advice and start getting into the opposition’s face with our fingers pointed right at it. Again, if Liberals didn’t have double standards they would have no standards at all.


NotaPajamaBoy – For the record, Leesburg was established and named Leesburg by an Act of the General Assembly in 1758. (See http://vagenweb.org/hening/vol07-12.htm)  It was not named for Robert E. Lee, who wasn’t born until 1807, forty-nine years after the founding and naming of Leesburg. Instead, it was named for (depending on which resource you check) either Thomas Lee or his son, Francis Lightfoot Lee (who was one of the founders of Leesburg), or the Lee family generally.


A Richmond Times article published today found that the Commonwealth of Virginia had 233 Confederate memorials in public spaces and 1503 across the South.  Can you say brain washing boys and girls.  I mean they turned a true tail whipping into a victory in less then one generation. 

I guess Hitler, Himmler, all the Kim’s in North Korea, Moa and all the other 20th Century Dictators and Despots learned from the Southerners in the United States how to turn a lie and a myth into the truth.  Cover as many spaces with the lie and myth, after a while, even the few intelligent people among the masses would not know the truth.


To what lengths will Trump apologists go to pretend we have a President we can respect?  Even a little?  I take comfort in knowing that nearly 3/4ths of America has had enough of this.


Get’em LCSO.  But if you do catch them be interesting to see if Plowman gives them the handshake he gave the kids who vandalized the Ashburn Colored School?


Umstattd seems to be advocating for more vandalism by those remarks!  Is she any worst than Trump?  All for political gain, and to appease the Al Sharpton of Loudoun County, Phillip Thompson!


The peace and love shown by the left is wonderful isn’t it….the left is as tolerant as the religion of peace…destruction people…glad the historical preservationists cancelled their rally, we dont need to see the antifada here in Loudoun


The south gave up Lee Jackson Holiday and granted it to Martin Luther King Day.  How bad can Southern People be??


Hello Loudoun County, the State of Virginia residents: those causing all of this up roar and division are totally self motivated.  They are looking for any reason to infringe on your rights.


What about all the monuments to the brave British soldiers who died fighting against the evil revolutionists?  Why are those still up?


It would be interesting if there was a giant popcorn maker put in this spot.  This statue is only proof that humans have been happy to receive participation awards since long ago.  Confederate loosers!!


This statue is on PUBLIC Property and the PUBLIC should decide if it stays up or comes down.  This has all gone too far.  This is still the Democratic party trying to get the vote through unrest and separation. With Martin Luther King and civil minds and conversation this had all been resolved.The humans in the United States of America were at peace with one another.  The only monuments to racism are those who preach it and create an environment of hate.  Watch Out you could be next.  Maybe they won’t like your bumper sticker on the car, the music you play or the shirt you wear with the name of your college.


David Dickinson: You are talking about people who loot businesses and burn their own cities when they are unhappy so your hope that this is the low point for them will likely not be realized. I guarantee not one person who damaged that statue knew anything about the statue, it’s history or VA history. This was simply an excuse to go do something dumb and when caught, have a media driven, built in excuse.


I guess we need to change the name of Leesburg now too. We can change it to Rooseveltburg. Oh wait a minute, we can’t do that, he interned the Japanese during WWII. TAKE DOWN HIS STATUES!!!!


I say we remove all statues of MLK Jr. and cancel his holiday as well. Why you ask? He was against gay marriage.


I really had no opinion on this issue before this happened.

Now I’m 100% in favor of KEEPING the monument.


remember when ashburn colored school was vandalized in 10-16 yet most of the community responded in positive manner w/ support to clean & restore a symbol of hope?

“In an irony of despicable action, the graffiti of bigotry and hate had unintended consequences: it stirred our community to take notice of a volunteer project that aims to address past struggles, to try to make things right in current times. It even brought together Loudoun’s politicians and political parties to speak out against intolerance.” ltm editorial board

as loudoun endured this other vandalism, other not so kind but frequent ltm commenters suggested the vandalism was a race hoax, self-inflicted attack, or publicity stunt; blamed democrats for fanning flames of racism & obama for declining race relations; and

this comment “It is a eyesore. Remove it and sell the land. Put up a marker to note the site and use the money raised from the sale of the land and the go fund me account to send a couple of kids to college.”

hoping they catch vandals


Let’s just hope some spray paint is as stupid as local Democrats get.

And, speaking of stupid, did it not occur to anyone in local government this would happen?  Really, you didn’t spend $49 and put a security camera on the statue?


ChocolateDinosaur - That could be one of the dumbest comments I’ve read on here recently, and that bar was set pretty low.  There is a legal process that has to be followed to have the statute removed.  But hey, why bother following rules you don’t agree with, let’s just damage property and waste tax payer money.  BTW - I have said in several posts that I don’t have an issue with removing the statutes, I do however have an issue with breaking the law and vandalism.


Get that thing out of there. 
Will Leesburg be the last city to deal with this?
The monument is a paean to an era that was fundamentally and completely un-American.  The time to honor it with a statue on the courthouse grounds is long over.


Chocolate Dino,Do you mean the monument to the Brave Virginians who fought against Northern Tyranny? That Monument?


This is complete BS. We cannot erase part of of history. Why can’t people just get along & NOT vandalize?! Just because you don’t like something doesn’t give you the right to do this.


hopefully no businesses will be burned or looted?


Not liking something is no reason to commit vandalism. Thanks Ms Chairperson for bringing this on once again.


If the monument to racism would be removed then there wouldn’t be graffiti.  Hope this keeps happening.

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