Michael Anthony Forcia, the man who organized the destruction of Minnesota’s Christopher Columbus statue, never faced trial and will not go to jail.
Forcia once faced a first-degree criminal property damage charge, which has now been suspended, and his trial was replaced with a virtual Zoom-based hearing. Instead of going to jail, he will have to perform 100 hours of community service and write a letter acknowledging that he destroyed the statue, according to Fox 9.
Forcia doesn’t even seem to regard this as a punishment. “I look forward to the community service,” he told a judge at his sentencing, adding that he’d “probably do over 100 hours, as a matter of fact,” Fox 9 reports.
Forcia was the only person charged with the destruction of the Christopher Columbus statue, which used to stand outside the Minnesota Capitol building.
The statue was torn down on July 10 by Forcia’s group of protesters who were affiliated with the American Indian Movement (AIM). No arrests were made during the vandalism as authorities merely stood by to observe while $154,000 worth of damage was inflicted, per a statement from the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
The legal response to the vandalism is in line with the “restorative justice” that officials promised in August. Ramsey County Attorney John Choi provided a statement to Alpha News about this model of justice shortly after the statue was toppled and suggested that his office would not pursue traditional punishment.
“The restorative process allows for all voices related to this incident to be heard and perhaps a greater outcome achieved that [sic] punishment of one individual,” the county attorney said at the time.
The Columbus statue, which was gifted to the state by an Italian immigrant as a token of gratitude for Minnesota’s acceptance of Italians, has not yet been replaced.
Meanwhile, several other statues around the metro area have fallen prey to similar treatment at the hands of vandals with a social justice agenda.
A statue of former President George Washington that used to sit across from the Minneapolis Institute of Art was torn down and covered in paint on Thanksgiving.
📷: via JacobCygnusToren (imgur) pic.twitter.com/ZfW4IHRMI6
— Shane B. Murphy (@shanermurph) November 26, 2020
That same day, a monument to the pioneers who settled in Minnesota was spray-painted with left-wing slogans.
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Photo “Columbus Statue” by Tony Webster. CC BY 2.0.