2 charged with trying to destroy Tillman statue in SC

South Carolina News

A statue of “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman is seen outside the South Carolina Statehouse on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Columbia, South Carolina. Tillman, who was white, led a race riot that killed four black men in 1876. Some activists want his statue removed and Clemson University wants to remove his name from a main campus building. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say they have arrested two people after they tried to destroy a monument of an avowed racist at the South Carolina Statehouse by setting it on fire with chemicals.

Investigators said they found the incendiary device around 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the foot of the “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman statue.

Authorities say the device contained thermite, a chemical mixture used in welding to melt pieces of metal to fuse them together.

The statue was not damaged.

Authorities charged 19-year-old Anna Elizabeth Jordan and 36-year-old James McTeer with arson and use of a destructive device.

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