ARKANSAS CITY, Ark. — Senator Tom Cotton joined Fox & Friends on Fox News Wednesday (June 24) to advocate for the prosecution of mob members vandalizing statues.
Cotton specifically called upon the Department of Justice to bring charges against those he refers to as ‘mob vigilantes’ under the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation Act.
The Veterans' Memorial Preservation Act is a law that makes it a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years to deface or tear down or attempt to tear down a statue commemorating someone's military service on federal property.
Cotton said, “I was very concerned when I saw the mobs having broken through the fencing around the Jackson statue in Lafayette Park and strapping up chains to it, trying to pull it down. I was very worried about where the police were. Now, fortunately, the police got there in time to stop it, but it had already been defaced on its pedestal.” Cotton continued, “And these aren't exactly criminal masterminds. They videotape themselves, and they post it on social media.”
Cotton believes The Department of Justice and the FBI should investigate them, arrest them and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
“There has to be legal consequences for this kind of mob violence, otherwise, it's only going to get worse with every passing day, said Cotton.”
“What really needs to happen is local authorities, which typically have the main responsibility for protecting property, both public and private, need to prosecute these criminals under their laws, stated Cotton.”
But when cities such as San Francisco, where a statue of U.S. Grant was toppled, Cotton wants The Department of Justice to take every possible legal action to prevent it from happening again.
“It is extraordinarily unhealthy in a democratic society governed by the rule of law when public officials look the other way and allow mob vigilantes to tear down statues or to try to destroy them, Cotton said.”
Watch the interview here.