Vandalism of Confederate monument in downtown Murfreesboro frustrates area residents

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office continues its investigation into the vandalism of the Confederate monument in Murfreesboro.

The statue is part of Jackie Paschall’s regular walks by the downtown square.

“Half the time, I still stop and read it over every time I go by,” said Paschall.

But Wednesday morning, Pascall had to take a second look.

Overnight, investigators said a vandal spray painted parts of the monument.

“It shouldn’t be tampered with like that,” said Paschall. “It’s awful that people just won’t let things lay.”

Surveillance video from the County Courthouse showed the suspect driving onto the square around 10:30 pm Tuesday.

The vandal appears to spray paint the monument for about two minutes, and then left the scene.

City workers spent the morning powerwashing the paint.

The statue, dedicated in 1901, commemorates the Confederate soldiers who fell in the Battle of Murfreesboro in 1862.

“This represents American history and several generations of people and for somebody to take into their own hands, just isn’t right,” said Darrell Spiva, a visitor.

But this isn’t the first time the monument has been vandalized.

In August of 2017, someone climbed and covered the statue.

“Why, what’s the purpose? What’s the reasoning behind it? This doesn’t really make sense to me,” said Sarah Overby, a Murfreesboro resident.

Raven Harmon and Sam Holland said they aren’t surprised by the vandalism.

“Seems pretty par for the course these days,” said Holland. “Some people are pretty opposed to things that have happened in the past, to which some people hold onto.”

They said resistance to monuments like this one show just how divided the country is, but bridging that divide, shouldn’t come at the expense of history.

“If you don’t own it, you don’t have any business doing anything to it,” said Holland. “There are channels to get rid of things like that, but those things take a long time and things don’t happen that way sometimes. So, I don’t know – it’s complicated.”

Investigators said the suspect was wearing a coat and scarf and drove away in a dark-colored compact to mid-sized car.

If you have any information, you’re urged to call 615-904-3055

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