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NOPD searching for McDonogh statue vandalism suspects

This was the second time in less than a month that a McDonogh statue was targeted.
Credit: NOPD

NEW ORLEANS —

New Orleans police released surveillance photos of the people they believe pulled down the statue of John McDonogh in Lafayette Square.

According to NOPD, the three people seen in the photos below toppled the statue around 1:13 a.m. on July 10. They are wanted for criminal damage of a historic landmark.

It is the second time in less than a month that a statue of John McDonogh, a slave owner, has been targeted by vandals. In June, two people were charged with inciting a riot and other charges for their alleged role in toppling a statue of McDonogh in Duncan Plaza and later dumping it in the Mississippi River.

McDonogh was a white slave owner who profited from Black people who were forced to work for their freedom over a period of 15 years. He developed a program where slaves he owned could buy their own freedom, generally over the course of 15 years while he took in money from their forced labor before they were able to earn their freedom.

Credit: NOPD

RELATED: At least 3 statues found vandalized, toppled in New Orleans

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McDonogh left the bulk of his fortune to the cities of Baltimore and New Orleans to build public schools for poor children, both white and freed Black children. More than 30 public schools were built in New Orleans because of his donation.

According to the WPA and state library of Louisiana, the statue outside of Gallier Hall was erected in 1898 on McDonogh's birthday, after $7,000 was raised by a local committee. Many of the funds were raised from 5-cent donations from students. 

New Orleans public school students would hold a procession to the statue each year on McDonogh Day, the first Friday in May.

Anyone with additional information on this case is asked to call NOPD First District detectives at 504-658-6010 or call Crimestoppers of Greater New Orleans anonymously at 504-822-1111 or toll-free 1-877-903-STOP.

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