Several days after vandals toppled a Christopher Columbus statue and then tossed it into Baltimore’s inner harbor near Little Italy, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) seemingly tried to present the act of destruction as a fact of life.
Pelosi made the remarks during a press conference on Thursday after a reporter questioned whether she felt it was appropriate for mobs to topple statues instead of having governments follow the appropriate legal process, reports The Hill.
“Respectfully, shouldn’t that be done by a commission or the city council, not a mob in the middle of the night throwing it into the harbor,” the reporter asked Pelosi.
“People will do what they do,” Pelosi responded. “I do think that from a safety standpoint, it would be a good idea to have it taken down if the community doesn’t want it.”
The speaker subsequently went on a tangent about how statues are actually not as important as looking forward to the future, took an unrelated jab at Confederate statues, then promptly ended the press conference and left the room without taking additional questions.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) responded to Pelosi’s comments about the Columbus statue on Twitter, saying her “job is to write laws. Instead, she encourages mobs to break them.” He also accused her of being “complicit with criminal activity.”
Speaker Pelosi’s job is to write laws. Instead, she encourages mobs to break them.
She is complicit with criminal activity. https://t.co/eNJdLpAZRZ
— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) July 9, 2020
As The Daily Wire previously reported, a group of vandals celebrated Fourth of July in Baltimore by tearing down a statue of Christopher Columbus, dedicated in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan, and then tossed the pieces into the nearby inner harbor.
The statue’s destruction, which was cheered on by onlooking protestors, received little condemnation that night from City Council President Brandon Scott, who actually released a statement to WBAL-TV distancing himself from the 15th century explorer.
“I suggested that the last administration remove this statue when they removed the Confederate monuments. I support Baltimore’s Italian-American community and Baltimore’s indigenous community. I cannot, however, support Columbus,” said Scott, who is running for mayor.
On Thursday, however, Mayor Jack Young issued a strong warning to the people who toppled the statue, remarking that “if we identify them, they will be brought to justice,” reports The Baltimore Sun.
The news agency reports that the Democratic mayor’s reaction is now the strongest his administration has been on the incident.
A spokesperson for the mayor previously referred to the statue’s destruction as part of a “re-examination taking place nationally and globally around some of these monuments and statues that may represent different things to different people,” reports the news agency.
Lester Davis, an aide to the mayor, told The Baltimore Sun at the time of the incident that the “dynamics” in the city were “part of a national narrative,” and that the city understands “the frustrations.”
“What the city wants to do is serve as a national model, particularly with how we’ve done with protesting. We’ve seen people who have taken to the streets, we have supported them. We are going to continue to support it. That’s a full stop,” he said.