Man destroys Ten Commandments statue at the Arkansas Capitol
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A man yelled “Freedom!” as he crashed his vehicle into Arkansas’ new Ten Commandments monument early Wednesday, nearly three years after he was arrested in the destruction of Oklahoma’s monument at its state Capitol, authorities said.
The privately funded Arkansas monument had been in place outside the state Capitol in Little Rock for less than 24 hours before it was knocked from its plinth and smashed to pieces.
Michael Tate Reed, 32, of Van Buren, Arkansas, was booked in the Pulaski County jail shortly after 7:30 a.m. on preliminary charges of defacing objects of public interest, criminal trespass and first-degree criminal mischief. An arrest report lists his occupation as “unemployed/disabled.”
Authorities did not know whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf. A video arraignment was set for Thursday morning, a Pulaski County sheriff’s spokesman said. A call to the number listed for Reed on a police report went straight to voicemail.
Arkansas Secretary of State’s Office spokesman Chris Powell said officials believe a Facebook Live video posted on a Michael Reed’s account that depicted the destruction is authentic.
In the video, the sky is dark and the Arkansas Capitol’s dome is visible. Music is heard followed by a female voice, likely on the radio, saying, “Where do you go when you’re faced with adversity and trials and challenges?” The driver is then heard growling, “Oh my goodness. Freedom!” before accelerating into the monument. The vehicle’s speedometer is last shown at 21 mph (33 kph) and then a collision can be heard.
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