ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland Delegate Nino Mangione is introducing a bill ahead of next year’s legislative session aimed at protecting monuments.
This comes after a group tore down the Christopher Columbus statue Saturday night in Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood and threw it into the water.
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- Video: Baltimore Protesters Tear Down Christopher Columbus Statue, Throw It Into Harbor
Mangione’s Monument Protection Act of 2021 would make it illegal to damage, destroy or vandalize a monument, memorial or “statue of historical significance” in the state. Punishments would range from a mandatory six months behind bars and up to $500 fine for minor damage to up to a decade in prison and a $2,500 fine for major damage.”
In a statement, Mangione said, in part:
“The lawless behavior we have seen exhibited in recent days by Antifa like mobs is a threat and embarrassment to every Marylander. This legislation holds these criminals accountable for their behavior and seeks to put an end to this lawlessness. I regret having to take this step but it is necessary given what has happened and the total failure of Baltimore’s elected leadership to take action. They have encouraged this behavior by sitting on their hands and doing nothing.”
Mangione said that he would begin adding co-sponsors in the House and looking for a cross-file in the Senate immediately.