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Incident reports detail alleged vandalism at University of Missouri’s Jefferson statue

Thomas Jefferson statue
ABC 17 News
The Thomas Jefferson statue on the University of Missouri campus.


A woman arrested for tampering at the University of Missouri's Thomas Jefferson statue allegedly threw red paint on the effigy of the Founding Father, according to a call to police.

MU police arrested Rachel A. Foster, 22, on Sunday and released her on a summons on one count of misdemeanor tampering. MUPD did not provide any details about the alleged crime in the news release it issued after the arrest.

An incident report given to ABC 17 News after an open records request shows police were sent to a call of a person in black throwing what appeared to be red paint on the statue, which sits on the Francis Quadrangle. The statue is monitored by security cameras, according to the report.

It wasn't clear from the report whether police found paint on the statue.

Foster's first court date is scheduled for Aug. 26.

Foster's arrest was the second related to alleged vandalism at the statue of Jefferson, the third president of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson's legacy has come under scrutiny because of his status as a slaveowner and the possibility that he had children with one of his slaves, Sally Hemings.

MU police said they arrested and cited MU student Ian M. Laird, 20, with painting graffiti on the sidewalk near the statue on July 7. He was given a summons on one count of second-degree property damage.

An incident report given to ABC 17 News after an open records request says police found the words "Say her name Sally Hemings" spraypainted on the ground in front of the statue.

Some had pushed for the statue's removal amid a wave of similar requests related to historical monuments and markers around the country, many of them commemorating Confederate leaders. But MU leaders said last month the statue would remain, choosing instead to look for ways to provide context about Jefferson's life.

The statue was also the subject of a removal push after campus protests over race issues in the fall of 2015.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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