OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — A court set bond Monday for a man charged with defacing a Confederate monument at the University of Mississippi during nationwide protests against police brutality.
A judge ruled that Zachary Borenstein, 38, could be released on $5,000 bail, The Oxford Eagle reported.
Borenstein is an Ole Miss graduate who was arrested after the rebel memorial was damaged with spray paint that said “spiritual genocide” and red hand prints on Saturday. He faces a felony charge of defacing public property.
Critics contend the memorial near the university’s main administrative building sends a signal that Ole Miss glorifies the Confederacy and glosses over the South’s history of slavery. Confederate memorials and monuments have been targeted elsewhere during protests against police killings.
Installed in 1906 during a period when Confederate descendants and sympathizers were erecting monuments to the “lost cause” of the South, the statue was a rallying point in 1962 for people who rioted to oppose the university’s court-ordered integration.
Arielle Hudson, the university’s first African-American female Rhodes Scholar, has setup up a donation fund to cover’s Borenstein’s bail money. She was one of the main leaders of a movement to relocate the statue from its current location.
Protests in Mississippi have occurred Oxford, Jackson and elsewhere since George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. The city of Pearl said it was temporarily closing an outlet mall because of the possibility of protests and warned of the continuing coronavirus pandemic in a Facebook post.