Suspect Charged For Role In Toppling Columbus Statue; County Attorney Suggests ‘Adversarial Trial’ May Not Happen

A local Minnesota prosecutor charged a Native American activist for his alleged role in organizing a protest to topple a statue of Christopher Columbus at the Minnesota state capitol back in mid-June.
According to the Ramsey County Prosecutor’s Office, Michael Forcia, a Native American activist affiliated with the American Indian Movement, organized the protest and acknowledged that his intent was to bring down the statue.
“Today’s the day we remove this POS from the State Capitol! Bring your drums,” read a Facebook event page for the protest, according to officials. A complaint against Forcia also states that an officer saw him put a rope around the statue with the help of another person, shortly before it came down.
Forcia was charged with one count of felony criminal damage of property, and the cost to repair the damage has been estimated at over $150,000. While the charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, it’s unclear whether such a sentence would even be on the table.
“Given the impact of this action on residents across our state and the divisive reactions it has engendered, we believe administering justice in this case requires an extraordinary step  the active engagement and participation of our community,” said Ramsey County Attorney John Choi in a statement. “We are working on developing a restorative process to give voice to those divergent opinions and bring people who hold them together to determine how best we hold Mr. Forcia accountable while healing our community from the harm that was caused.”
“By employing restorative principles in a way that unites rather than divides us, we have a greater opportunity to achieve true justice for our community, to respond more meaningfully and in due time, rather than waiting more than a year for an adversarial trial that would not provide adequate closure for our community and likely create additional division. The pursuit of justice should always seek to unite a community rather than divide it,” said Choi.
In the moments after the statue was toppled, Forcia told a local Fox News affiliate that he was certain the statue wouldn’t be put back up after the event concluded.
“If they put him up, it should be in a room where they educate people on the foundation of Minnesota, and how Minnesota came to be, how this country was formed, and the sick foundation that this country [was] built on  on racism, genocide,” said Forcia.
“So much talk about looting, but they looted our land, they stole our land,” he continued. “And so he had to go. He was here for far too long.”
Amidst nationwide unrest over the death of George Floyd, activists and left-wing vandals toppling  or trying to topple  statues of Christopher Columbus became a prominent sight in major cities across the country.
One of the most high-profile incidents occurred in Chicago about a month later, in July, when a group of black-clad militants ambushed police officers stationed in front of the Christopher Columbus statue in Grant Park.
Dozens of officers were reportedly injured in the attack, and the city of Chicago later took down the statue, and another one in the city, as a temporary measure.
Suspect Charged For Role In Toppling Columbus Statue; County Attorney Suggests ‘Adversarial Trial’ May Not Happen Suspect Charged For Role In Toppling Columbus Statue; County Attorney Suggests ‘Adversarial Trial’ May Not Happen Reviewed by Your Destination on August 16, 2020 Rating: 5

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