A man rammed his car into and destroyed a newly-installed monument to the Ten Commandments outside of Arkansas’ State Capitol — less than 24-hour after it was unveiled by politicians.
Michael Reed, 32, allegedly shouted “Freedom!” after the collision, according to video posted to Facebook, authorities said.
A spokesman for Arkansas’ State Capitol Police confirmed Reed’s arrest to NBC News, adding that the granite tableau had been “shattered” in Wednesday’s incident.
Police also said videos were found on Reed’s cell phone at the time of his arrest that he’d allegedly posted to Facebook before and after the incident.
The first post allegedly shows Reed explaining to viewers why he felt the monument violated the Constitution’s establishment clause.
“One thing I do not support is a violation of our Constitutional right … that guarantees the separation of church and state,” Reed allegedly says in the video. A second post allegedly captures the moment Reed destroyed the monument.
According to NBC’s Oklahoma affiliate KFOR, Wednesday’s incident is not the first time Reed has been arrested for destroying a statue of the biblical commandments. In 2014, Reed was also arrested in Oklahoma for vandalizing a Ten Commandments monument, the station reported.
Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas, took to Twitter to vent his frustration that the monument had been destroyed, sharing a link to a news story about Reed’s arrest.
“Some idiot in my home state broke all 10 commandments at the same time,” Huckabee posted. “He wasn’t Moses and it wasn’t Mt. Sinai.”
Arkansas state Senator Jason Rapert unveiled the statue Tuesday, bringing an end to his two-year fight to have the tablet erected on the grounds of the State Capitol. In 2015, Rapert sponsored a bill to have the monument built, arguing, in part, that the commandments would help citizens to understand “the Ten Commandments as the moral foundation of the law.”
Anticipating the outcry from religious liberty proponents, the bill even cites a Supreme Court ruling that allowed Texas to construct a similar monument on its state grounds.
Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a bill later that year and Rapert created the non-profit the American History and Heritage Foundation to raise donations for the monuments construction.
At the statues’ unveiling ceremony Tuesday, Rapert said the tablet is a replica of the statue outside of the Texas State Capitol and was even constructed from the same granite.
“When you walk into the U.S. Supreme Court … you open up those doors you look above the head of the Chief Justice you will see Moses,” Rapert said.
Rapert also pledged to help other communities raise funds to erect their own statues to pay homage to the commandments.
A spokesman for the Arkansas Secretary of State said the remaining pieces of the tablet have been collected and are currently in storage. There are no current plans to rebuild the monument, the spokesman said.