Protesters watched as the Mississippi River swallowed a stone bust of a slave owner that they toppled from its spot in a New Orleans plaza.
Caleb Wassell, 27, was charged with inciting a riot and other crimes, police said. Michela Davis, 31, was charged with assaulting a cop and other crimes.
Police released a photo of a man in a black t-shirt they said was the instigator in the vandalism. He was still being sought on Sunday.
“The pictured subject began to damage the statue with a hammer and spray paint, which eventually was pulled to the ground,” police said.
Those who brought down the statue in the plaza Saturday had participated in a "Take Back Pride" motorcade protest against police brutality, systemic racism, violence against black trans people, discrimination, and other issues, the paper reported.
Protests in New Orleans and other cities began in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd while in police custody. A video of Floyd's arrest shows a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, despite Floyd saying he couldn't breathe and then becoming unresponsive.
The word "RACIST" was scribbled in red under McDonogh's name on the statue, with an inscription honoring him crossed out, the paper reported.
Fox 8 New Orleans said McDonogh was a wealthy landowner and benefactor who had many slaves. He left the bulk of his fortune to the city of New Orleans to create public schools.