City closes Marion Square after Calhoun statue vandalized; arrests made

Updated: Jun. 17, 2020 at 8:38 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Charleston has closed Marion Square after the John C. Calhoun statue was vandalized tonight.

The square is expected to reopen at dawn on Thursday, according to police.

Officials with the Charleston Police Department said arrests are being made after the statue was vandalized this afternoon.

Protesters have spray painted and put signs on the base of the statue.

The protesters began putting the signs up and painting on the statue hours after Mayor John Tecklenburg announced that he was calling for the statute to be removed and placed in a museum.

Protesters were also seen throwing eggs at the statue.

BREAKING: Protesters spray painting, throwing eggs, and putting signs on the Calhoun Statue in downtown Charleston. Rob Way - Live 5 News is there. It comes just hours after the mayor says he’s asking for council’s support in taking it down.

Posted by Live 5 News on Wednesday, June 17, 2020

On Wednesday afternoon, during a press conference, Tecklenburg said he will be sending a resolution to City Council calling for the relocation of the statue.

Council is expected to vote on the resolution next Tuesday at 5 p.m.

“We are taking this action only after careful consideration of the facts of Mr. Calhoun’s life,” the mayor said.

The mayor also addressed the Heritage Act, a state law which forbids the removal of war related markers in South Carolina. Tecklenburg said the law does not pertain to the Calhoun statue.

“Well folks, this is not a war memorial,” he said. “By [removing the statue] I believe we bring peace.”

Tecklenburg said he was confident that city council has full authority to order the relocation since the statue belongs to the city and is located on grounds owned by a private party.

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