Update: Denton police release video of Confederate memorial being vandalized

Update at 7:55 p.m.: Surveillance video released by the Denton County Sheriff’s office to NBC 5 shows two people at about 4:30 a.m. Monday run up to the statue, with what look like large stencils. Then they appear to climb onto the statue, paint the words and then run off on foot to the west of the Courthouse Square.



Original post: A vandal defaced the Confederate monument on the Denton County Courthouse Square, a few weeks after a similar monument was vandalized in Dallas.

Sometime between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, someone spray-painted “This is racist” across the memorial to Confederate soldiers outside the courthouse.

An employee from the county judge’s office reported the vandalism at 8:50 a.m., Denton County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Sandi Brackeen said. Deputies were investigating the incident Monday morning.

Surveillance of the monument was increased in recent weeks, and a camera was placed in a window to capture images of anyone who might vandalize it, County Commissioner Hugh Coleman told the Denton Record-Chronicle.

The Denton memorial is the latest Texas Confederate icon to be vandalized. Earlier this month a vandal spray-painted “SHAME” on the statue of General Robert E. Lee in Dallas’ Lee Park. In Austin, “Davis must fall” and “Emancipate UT” were painted on the statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on the University of Texas campus.

Controversy isn’t new to the Denton memorial. In the wake of the lowering of the Confederate battle flag at the South Carolina state Capitol, Denton residents called for the removal of the monument.

One group working to remove the memorial, Dentonites Against Racist Traditions, denounced the crime on its Facebook group page.

“We have never wanted the monument to be defaced or destroyed in any way,” group organizer Jonathon Vann said in the post. “The only change we encouraged was location. While we obviously believe that it is racist, we also believe in democracy and the rule of law as ways for getting things done, not a rogue action committed by an individual.”

The monument was erected in 1918 by the Daughters of the Confederacy, according to the Denton County Historical Commission.