10 Commandments monument at Arkansas Capitol destroyed; suspect in custody for apparent repeat offense | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

10 Commandments monument at Arkansas Capitol destroyed; suspect in custody for apparent repeat offense

Posted By on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 at 6:06 AM


click to enlarge IN PIECES" New monument. - KTHV/TWITTER
  • KTHV/Twitter
  • IN PIECES" New monument.
The new Ten Commandments monument at the Arkansas Capitol was destroyed by a car overnight less than 24 hours after installation on the Capitol grounds.

A suspect is in custody, Michael Reed, 32, of Van Buren. He's been charged with defacing objects of public interest; criminal trespass on the Capitol grounds, and 1st degree criminal mischief.

The secretary of state's office said a Capitol police officer on patrol saw the car enter the Capitol grounds from the south and then do a u-turn after passing the monument. The officer realized something was amiss, but the car then smashed into the monument and stopped. The officer took Reed into custody. He was "cooperative," spokesman Danielle Fusco said. He was taken to St. Vincent for evaluation. He apparently suffered no serious injuries and was taken to the county jail. The car was towed.

He's apparently the sasme man who similarly destroyed a 10 Commandments monument in Oklahoma in 2014. The linked article is a Tulsa World columnist's account n 2015 of Michael Reed's letter about his mental illness. Then 29, Reed was released from an Oklahoma hospital in January 2015 "under an agreement with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater for continued treatment, therapy and family support. He is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder."

Video on Facebook in an account bearing the name Michael Reed seems to record the event. The 18-second video has a one-word descriptive: "Freedom." The driver in the video says, "Oh my goodness." and then "Freedom" before smashing into the tablet.

Other posts on the Facebook page where this is posted include several videos. In one (see below), Reed talks of his religious beliefs ("Jesus is Lord") and also belief in separation of church and state ("There's no one religion government should support.") He speaks of using a treasured 2016 Dodge Dart, paid with money he received from a work injury. He also created a Go Fund Me account seeking to raise $20,000 for "defending our Constitutional rights."

There are many other messages, some confused, on his page and multiple videos including one in which he says, "Yes, I am a pothead," but cites a Biblical justification. He also posted this message last night: "Our constitutional rights have been violated and since no one will do anything about it, I will."

click to enlarge 'JESUS IS LORD': That's the message on one video on the Facebook page identified as belonging to Michael Reed of Van Buren. It appears to contain a video of a car smashing into the Ten Commandmemts monument. - FACEBOOK
  • Facebook
  • 'JESUS IS LORD': That's the message on one video on the Facebook page identified as belonging to Michael Reed of Van Buren. It appears to contain a video of a car smashing into the Ten Commandmemts monument.
From the photo, it appears the inscribed tablet broke up after being knocked off the base to which it was bolted.

The monument was put in place Tuesday morning with Sen. Jason Rapert, who sponsored legislation to enable it, on hand to pronounce a "great day for Arkansas." Several groups have vowed to sue over the installation as state promotion of religion.

Rapert eventually appeared at the scene of the crime, which he described as a "premeditated act of violence against the people of Arkansas." He will have a news conference later this morning, presumably to announce plans to rebuild.


A similar monument in Oklahoma was destroyed in 2014. Police arrested Michael Tate Reed II. He was originally brought to their attention by threats against the president and said the devil made him do it. He drove a car into that monument. The Arkansas monument cost about $26,000 and was paid with private donations to a nonprofit set up for the purpose.



And there's always a little dark humor in bad news. One local newsman comments:

It just ain't Biblical if the 10 Commandments don't get smashed once on the way to wherever its going.
click to enlarge unnamed.gif

In the vein of smashed tablets, Republican Sen. Trent Garner was among the first, if not the first, to move to capitalize politically on expected fervor over the event.

I don't know if you can build a monument high enough to intimidate a schizophrenic pothead. The Constitution itself isn't mighty enough to stop the Arkansas legislature from destructive acts. For the record: Oklahoma rebuilt its smashed 10 Commandments monument. There, the U.S. Constitution won in the end. The Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the statue's removal for the preference it showed for a specific religious sect.

click to enlarge RAPERT AT THE SCENE: Sponsor of monument, Jason Rapert, decries "act of violence." - BRIAN CHILSON
  • Brian Chilson
  • RAPERT AT THE SCENE: Sponsor of monument, Jason Rapert, decries "act of violence."

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (58)

Showing 1-50 of 58

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-50 of 58

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Hear Our Voice: a message for politicians

    Hear Our Voice AR is holding an event from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. tonight at White Water Tavern at which participants write postcards to elected officials.
    • Feb 19, 2018
  • New evidence brings a call for the impeachment of Justice Clarence Thomas

    Jill Abramson, writing in New York, says it's time to impeach Clarence Thomas. We shouldn't have a lying sexual harasser on the U.S. Supreme Court.
    • Feb 19, 2018
  • Conner Eldridge forms NWA law firm

    Conner Eldridge, the former western district U.S. attorney who made an unsuccessful Democratic race for U.S. Senate in 2016, has announced formation of a new law firm, based in Rogers, with Steve Brooks, a former Friday Firm partner.
    • Feb 19, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Medical marijuana backers: Health Department opposition 'disingenuous' and 'cruel'

    Arkansans for Compassionate Care, the group behind the first medical marijuana initiative to qualify for the ballot, has responded sharply to yesterday's statement by the Arkansas Health Department that it opposes legal medical use of marijuana.
    • Jul 13, 2016
  • Baseball fans have a new place to stay

    If you missed out on Razorback baseball home games this year because you couldn’t find a great place to stay, your problem is now solved: Staybridge Suites of Fayetteville is now fully renovated and located directly across from Baum Stadium, with free parking for hotel guests.
    • May 22, 2017
  • 'Million-Dollar Thursday': A visit to Sherwood's hot check court

    We take a visit to the weekly hot check court in Sherwood District Court, the subject of a recent civil rights lawsuit filed by ACLU Arkansas and others, who say the system there results in a modern-day debtor's prison
    • Aug 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • In the margins

    A rediscovered violin concerto brings an oft-forgotten composer into the limelight.
  • Donald Trump is historically unpopular — and not necessarily where you think

    My colleagues John Ray and Jesse Bacon and I estimate, in the first analysis of its kind for the 2018 election season, that the president's waning popularity isn't limited to coastal cities and states. The erosion of his electoral coalition has spread to The Natural State, extending far beyond the college towns and urban centers that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. From El Dorado to Sherwood, Fayetteville to Hot Springs, the president's approval rating is waning.
  • Arkansans join House vote to gut Americans with Disabilities Act

    Despite fierce protests from disabled people, the U.S. House voted today, mostly on party lines, to make it harder to sue businesses for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course Arkansas congressmen were on the wrong side.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation