OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A pickup truck hit and damaged a decorative extension of a Confederate memorial’s base, but campus police say it was apparently by accident.
The driver and passenger were taken to a hospital after the crash Saturday night, campus police tweeted.
“No indication it was a deliberate act,” one tweet stated.
University Police Chief Tim Potts told the school newspaper, The Daily Mississippian , that the driver would be arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
He said the FBI was notified “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 also told The Daily Mississippian that the statue’s supports appear fine, but a plaque providing context for the statue was among items loosened. Maintenance workers moved the loose items to safety, he said.
“The statue on top and everything appears to be level and firm,” Potts said. “There’s no imminent threat of the statue falling.”
The memorial is made up of a tall, square column topped by a statue of a soldier. The plaque states that it was erected in 1906 and was among many monuments built across the South as aging Civil War veterans were dying.
“It must also remind us that the defeat of the Confederacy actually meant freedom for millions of people,” the text continues, adding that in 1962 the monument was a rallying spot for segregationists.
It finishes with a statement that the university is committed to entrance for “all who seek truth, knowledge, and wisdom.”
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