A vandal tagged a monument in the heart of Oklahoma City. Someone spray painted one of the Centennial Land Run statues in Bricktown on Friday morning, according to Oklahoma City police. The act came after local Indigenous rights leaders called for the removal of the monument.
The police department’s graffiti unit is investigating and city ordinance signs on the monument clearly state that violators will be fined.
The graffiti is a statement, but not one the group calling for the removal of the monument is making.
“We’re definitely not trying to,” said Sarah Adams-Cornell, local Indigenous activist. “Nor have we ever advocated for any vandalism.”
Adams-Cornell said whoever committed the crime appeared to be seeking the wrong kind of attention.
“It doesn’t really look like vandalism against the actual monument, it looks like a tag,” said Adams-Cornell. “This act is not connected to our group or the organizing that we’re doing.”
Adams-Cornell will take part in a large rally on Saturday at the landmark that is aimed at informing the public. She said the monument does not accurately portray what happened to Indigenous people during the Land Run. Besides calling for the removal of the statues, they want the public to learn about all of the state's history.
“We want to make sure the plaques for the monuments are updated with information that reflects the Indigenous people who were here, and the impact land runs had on them,” said Adams-Cornell.
She would also like to see school's history books updated and land run re-enactments stopped.
“Those are the changes we want to see,” said Adams-Cornell. “We’re not looking to vandalize the monument.”
Police do not have any leads as to who is behind the graffiti. The public can leave tips by calling the Crime Stoppers tip line at 405-235-7300.