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A pickup truck plowed into the contextualization plaque in front of the Confederate soldier statue in the Circle sometime before 10:40 p.m. Saturday night.
University Police Chief Tim Potts said the two people in the car sustained non-life-threatening injuries and the driver is being arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated. Potts said that so far there is no indication that crashing the truck into the statue was done on purpose.
“We had people at the scene last night, and obviously, with everything going on in the nation, we want to make it abundantly clear to everybody that there’s no indication that this was intentional,” Potts said. “Due to the statue, we’ve contacted the FBI, just to make them aware of (the situation) and to make sure we are not missing any charges that could or could not be filed. We just want to make sure we take care of all angles on this and do our due diligence and go from there.”
He said damage to the statue was mainly to the decorative base, while the base supporting the weight of the statue did not receive any of the damage.
“The statue on top and everything appears to be level and firm,” Potts said. “There’s no imminent threat of the statue falling.”
With the help of Facilities Management, loose articles and debris around the statue were removed. The area was cleaned up and barricaded off last night. Among the loose articles was the contextualization plaque placed in front of the statue last spring. Potts said the plaque and the other loose articles were taken by Facilities Management and will be maintained by it until everything can be replaced.
This story is developing, and The Daily Mississippian will continue to report and update it as more information becomes available.
— Christine A. Rizzi (@ChristineARizzi) September 17, 2017