OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol confirmed Friday that it's investigation the “malicious destruction” of state property after a car crashed into the Ten Commandments statue at the state capitol.
Officials said that troopers responded to an abandoned vehicle driven into the statue at around 7 p.m. Thursday.
“We’ll process the scene and suspect vehicle to further the investigation of hopes of locating the responsible party,” said Capt. George Brown with OHP.
Ryan Kiesel, Oklahoma Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union released the following statement in response to the destruction of the monument:
The ACLU of Oklahoma and our clients are outraged at this apparent act of vandalism. While we have and continue to seek the removal of the Ten Commandments monument from the Capitol grounds through the judicial process, the Ten Commandments constitute a strong foundation in our clients’ deeply held religious beliefs. To see the Ten Commandments desecrated by vandals is highly offensive to them as people of faith. Our Oklahoma and Federal Constitutions seek to create a society in which people of all faiths and those of no faith at all can coexist as equals without fear of repressions from the government or their neighbors. Whether it is politicians using religion as a political tool or vandals desecrating religious symbols, neither are living up to the full promise of our founding documents.
Governor Mary Fallin condemned the destruction of the monument and volunteered to help raise funds to restore it.
"This monument was built to memorialize the historical significance of the Ten Commandments in guiding our own laws and lives. It is absolutely appalling that someone would vandalize anything at the Oklahoma State Capitol, the People's Building, much less a monument of such significance,” Fallin said.
The Ten Commandments monument was paid for with private funds from Rep. Mike Ritze.
"Our monument will be rebuilt and restored. The people of Oklahoma will not stand for acts of violence against the Capitol or its monuments,” Fallin said.
OHP officials said they arrested Michael Tate Reed Jr, 29. Reed told officials that Satan told him to hit the monument.