Robert E. Lee monument vandalized in Warren County

Updated: Jun. 29, 2020 at 4:22 PM EDT
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WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - An Ohio monument to Robert E. Lee was vandalized Sunday, according to Franklin police.

The statue is located at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge in Franklin, Ohio.

The parking lot in front of the monument was also tagged with ‘No Racist Monuments,' Police Chief Russ Whitman says.

Video of the incident was provided by Franklin police. The suspect is described as tall and thin.

Lee was commander of the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He had no apparent connection to Ohio.

The monument’s plaque was dedicated in 1927, around 72 years after the Civil War ended. It is mounted on a giant rock erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and Friends.

The monument’s vandalism comes amid national protests against police brutality and renewed conversations on the appropriateness of monuments to historical slave-owners and Confederate figures. Some of those monuments have been vandalized and toppled by protesters; others have been removed by decree.

Franklin’s Robert E. Lee monument was previously moved in 2017 from the corner of Hamilton-Middletown Road and South Dixie Highway. That decision came in the aftermath of white nationalist protests against the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, during which Heather Heyer, 32, died.

The City of Franklin said at the time it had decided to move the monument due to zoning rules pertaining to Dixie Highway.

Subsequently, the monument was placed at the Eagles Lodge.

Anyone with information on the vandalism is asked to contact the Franklin Police Department at 937.746.2882.

A man vandalized a Robert E. Lee monument in Warren County Sunday.
A man vandalized a Robert E. Lee monument in Warren County Sunday.(Franklin Police Department)

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