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Last updated 9:09AM ET
March 5, 2021
Race of Culprits in Confederate Monument Defacing Surprises Some
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Many had assumed the black paint that was sprayed on the Capitol's Confederate monument was the work of black people looking to make a statement.

But the apprehension of three white 17-year-olds is raising questions about the motive and whether they should be charged with a hate crime as originally proposed.

The memorial features four granite soldiers representing the cavalry, infantry, artillery and navy.

Capitol police say the teens hopped over a waist-high fence bordering the monument sometime during the November 11 weekend and painted the hands and faces black.

The letters and numbers "N-T- 11 11 31" were also written in black paint on the monument's limestone base, an apparent reference to slave Nat Turner who was hanged on November 11, 1831 for starting a bloody rebellion.

Leonard Wilson, division commander of the Alabama Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said the group is no longer pushing for a hate crime since the suspects are white.

His group offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the suspects and a tip they received led police to the teens.

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