Speed Reads


Alabama man jailed for getting ketchup on statue of doctor who experimented on enslaved women

A 74-year-old Alabama man named Jon Broadway was arrested, charged with misdemeanor criminal tampering, and jailed for about eight hours after he got ketchup on a statue while conducting an anti-racism demonstration.

The statue at the Alabama State Capitol depicts Dr. J. Marion Sims, who is known as the father of modern gynecology. Sims developed his techniques by practicing on enslaved black women, testing instruments and conducting surgeries without anesthesia and possibly without their consent. One woman, Anarcha, was subjected to 30 surgeries.

Broadway, who is white, performed a skit in front of the statue with a black woman, he dressed as a doctor and she as slave. (The woman was not arrested, and Broadway has declined to give her name unless she chooses to identify herself publicly.) "[Sims] was a butcher," the woman says in video of the incident, putting ketchup on the statue to symbolize blood. "He didn't try to save black babies; he just used us like guinea pigs," she continued. "Know your history. This statue needs to be removed."

After the skit, Broadway was detained by more than a dozen police officers. He was held in jail until his wife was able to bail him out, and his clothes were confiscated by police "for evidence." Broadway left jail dressed only in long underwear. His trial is set for September.