Ten Commandments monument in Arkansas smashed by possible serial Ten Commandments smasher

Ten commandments sculpture.
(Image credit: Michael Smith/Getty Images)

It took less than 24 hours for somebody to drive their car into a controversial Ten Commandments monument that had been installed Tuesday morning at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock. "My boss called me and told me the Ten Commandments monument had been destroyed," Arkansas Secretary of State Chris Powell told NPR. "When I got here, it was rolled over on the sidewalk and broken into multiple pieces."

The suspect, one Michael T. Reed II, 32, allegedly drove his 2016 Dodge Dart into the slab around 4:47 a.m. CT on Wednesday morning, officials say. He apparently taped the incident from inside his car and posted the video to Facebook. "It shows what looks like the Arkansas State Capitol building," NPR writes. "A man's voice says: 'Oh my goodness. Freedom!' as the car careens into the monument."

The Ten Commandments monument was approved by the Arkansas Legislature in 2015 and opposed by groups such as the ACLU, which called it unconstitutional. It briefly stood 6 feet tall and weighed 6,000 pounds.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

In 2014, an Arkansas man named Michael T. Reed drove his car into a similar Ten Commandments monument at the Oklahoma Capitol. That Reed told the Secret Service he had bipolar disorder and that Satan had instructed him to destroy the monument. The Associated Press said Wednesday it could not confirm if the two Michael T. Reeds are the same man, or if people named Michael T. Reed who hail from Arkansas just have a higher-than-normal aggression level toward Ten Commandments monuments.

The Reed who smashed the monument in Arkansas, at least, will face "preliminary charges of defacing an object of public respect, a Class C felony; criminal mischief in the first degree, a Class C felony; and trespassing on the state Capitol grounds, a misdemeanor," NPR writes.

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us