WATCH: Man yells "Freedom!" as he destroys Arkansas' new Ten Commandments monument

Arkansas' new stone monument to the Ten Commandments lasted less than 24 hours

Published June 28, 2017 12:54PM (EDT)

The new Ten Commandments (AP/Jill Zeman Bleed)
The new Ten Commandments (AP/Jill Zeman Bleed)

On Tuesday, a 6-foot stone monument of the Ten Commandments was installed on Capitol grounds in Little Rock, Arkansas. Less than 24 hours after it went up, a driver plowed into the granite with his vehicle and captured it all on Facebook Live.

The monument, built with $26,000 in private donations, was totaled by Michael Reed, 32, at 4:45 a.m. Wednesday. Reed faces three charges: felony for defacing an object of public interest, trespassing on Capitol grounds and first-degree criminal mischief according to Reuters.

In the Facebook Live video believed to be posted by Reed, the driver of a vehicle could be heard saying, "Oh my goodness," then shouting, "Freedom," as his car drives onto grass and smashes into the the stone slab. The video ends moments after the collision.

Back in 2014, a man named Michael Tate Reed used his truck to ram into a similarly designed Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma Capitol in Oklahoma City. It's not clear if the same Michael Reed as was involved in Wednesday's incident. The Associated Press has some information on the history of the monument.

The privately funded, granite monument in Little Rock weighed 6,000 pounds (2,721 kilograms). It was installed Tuesday morning on the southwest lawn of the Capitol with little fanfare and no advance notice. A 2015 law required the state to allow the display near the Capitol, and a state panel last month gave final approval to its design and location.

What's the future of the monument erected to celebrate the immortality of Biblical law? That's not certain.

"As far as what happens to the monument, it's unclear at this time. The first thing will be to clean up the debris."


By Michael Glassman

Michael Glassman is on Salon’s Breaking News team. You can find him on Twitter at @warnkemg

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