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Gate now surrounds Confederate monument at Garfield Park after vandalism

Posted: 4:39 PM, Aug 21, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-21 23:28:48-04
Gate put around Confederate statue at Indy park
Gate put around Confederate statue at Indy park
Gate put around Confederate statue at Indy park
Gate put around Confederate statue at Indy park
Gate put around Confederate statue at Indy park

INDIANAPOLIS -- A gate now surrounds the Confederate monument in Garfield Park after a hammer-wielding man vandalized the statue Saturday afternoon. 

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers say the gate will stay up around the monument for the foreseeable future and several park rangers have watched over the area since the incident.

Anthony Ventura, 30, was arrested Saturday after he was caught on video beating the monument with a hammer. Ventura is charged with vandalism. 

IndyParks  has been debating whether to remove the monument from Garfield Park  since the events in Charlottesville. 

"It's being negotiated now where it might end up, but the thought is to keep it from further vandalism," said Wayne Sharp of Confederate Civil War Groups. "It's just a grave marker purchased by the United States government."

The memorial commemorates the burial of 1,616 Confederate soldiers who died at Camp Morton while prisoners of war. Local historians said unlike many of the monuments found across the country, the structure in Garfield Park does not attempt to glorify the Confederate soldiers' cause.

Councilman William Oliver said it's time for relocation.

"We’re trying to find ways to expedite this move of the monument. Now many of us are examining what these monuments stand for, why they were created, and the name behind them," said Oliver.

RELATED |  Indy Parks wants to move Confederate monument from Garfield Park  | Man arrested for damaging Confederate statue in Garfield Park with hammer