A statue of Andrew Jackson in downtown Jacksonville has been the target of protests for the second time in a week.
According to The Florida Times Union, the base of the statue was sprayed Sunday morning with large, orange letters spelling: “Black Lives Matter” and “justice 4 D.”
The message apparently referred to D’anglo Stallworth, a 28-year-old who was shot and killed by police on May 12 in Jacksonville. Ed Block, a local attorney representing the Stallworth family, told the newspaper that the family has many unanswered questions but stressed that they have asked for peace and do not condone vandalizing public property.
The first incident occured June 30 when a Native American mask was found on Jackson’s lap.Jackson is notorious for signing the Indian Removal Act of 1830, forcing thousands of Native Americans to relocate west of the Mississippi River. It is estimated that 4,000 died during the journey on the “Trail of Tears.”
Although a well-known slave owner, Jackson believed in the fair treatment of slaves, telling one overseer, “that he was to treat them with great humanity, feed and cloath them well, and work them in moderation.” When Jackson learned that one of his slaves was killed by an overseer, Jackson fired the man.
He tried to indict the overseer for murder, telling the state prosecutor that he saw himself as “the guardian of my slave, [and] it is my duty to prosecute the case so far as justice to him [the slave] may require it.” A grand jury, however, refused to indict.
Jacksonville is named after the 7th U.S. president who led the army, as a Major General, in an invasion of Spanish Florida in First Seminole War in 1818, leading to the acquisition of the territory.