Arkansas' Ten Commandments Monument Stood for Only a Day

Michael Reed accused of knocking it over with his car
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2017 10:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – A controversial Ten Commandments monument didn't even last a day on the grounds of the Arkansas Capitol before it was knocked to the ground early Wednesday, reportedly by a man accused of damaging a similar monument in another state. Michael Tate Reed, 32, appears to have done little to hide his alleged involvement, reports KTHV. A live video posted to Reed's Facebook page appears to show a vehicle accelerating toward the monument. A man's voice is heard yelling "Freedom!" just before impact. Reed, seen smiling in a mugshot, was arrested by Capitol police shortly after 4:45am Wednesday and charged with defacing objects of public respect, trespassing, and first-degree criminal mischief, reports Arkansas Online.

A man identified as Michael Tate Reed was also accused of crashing a vehicle into a Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma in 2014. He was afterwards admitted to a hospital and diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, per Arkansas Online. The AP reports he was never charged. A rep for the Arkansas secretary of state's office tells Arkansas Online there were "some concerns" about the state's new 6-foot-tall stone monument, paid for with more than $26,000 in private donations, given that it was "such a highly charged issue with some people," but he says he was still surprised by its destruction. NPR reported Tuesday that the ACLU of Arkansas planned to file a lawsuit in an effort to have the monument removed on the basis that it violated the First Amendment. (Read more Arkansas stories.)

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