Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument at Capitol destroyed


Powell says the 32-year-old man drove through the statue around 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday while filming on his cell phone.The suspect's name and motive haven't been released.

In October 2014, authorities say the granite monument that sat outside the Oklahoma Capitol was destroyed when Michael Reed rammed his auto into it.

Three years ago, a Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma's Capitol was smashed in a similar way after a driver crashed his vehicle into it. The Commandments were erected Tuesday morning, and the ACLU of Arkansas says it will sue for the monument's removal. That driver was also identified as Michael T. Reed of Van Buren, Ark.

By around 7:30, Reed had been booked into the Pulaski County Regional Detention Facility on charges of Defacing Objects of Public Interest, Criminal Trespass, and Criminal Mischief. He was being held without bail pending an initial court appearance.

But Rita Sklar, executive director of the Arkansas chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the group is preparing to file a lawsuit over the monument's placement.

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"We're just very grateful to have this up and see the law fulfilled", he said.

The monument was installed two years after state officials passed the "Ten Commandments Monument Display Act", CNN reports. Authorities believe Reed drove into the monument, causing it to topple and shatter.

A video that appears to have been taken from inside the vehicle was posted on the Facebook account of a Michael Reed early Wednesday.

According to a State Capitol Police report of the incident, Reed is listed as "unemployed / disabled". He spoke from a seat in a 2016 Dodge Dart.

"We will rebuild the monument", Rapert said. "By placing a monument to a particular set of religious beliefs, it appears that the state enforces one particular set of beliefs over others and over no religion".

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In a different video posted earlier, the same man said he had to "confess my sin". "They have to get a tractor and put it on pallets and lift it up".

"Now my plans is this", he later added. "I'm going to go, I'm leaving this place, and I'm gonna see God more and just trust in him".

Reed's mother at the time said that her son is a devout Christian who has struggled with mental health issues.

"I am so sorry that this all happening and wished I could take it all back", Reed reportedly wrote.

Capitol crews later worked to clean up the hunks of granite.

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The American Heritage and History Foundation, an organization founded by Rapert, raised the money to pay for the monument.