Denmark Vesey statue pedestal vandalized

Charleston police are investigating “significant damage” by suspected vandals to the Hampton Park monument to Denmark Vesey, an enslaved man who used lottery winnings to his own freedom in 1799.

The damage is believed to have been caused between noon Saturday and 10:30 a.m. Sunday by vandals wielding a large hammer or similar object.

“As with other recent acts of vandalism against our city’s monuments, we will repair this damage,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “We will work to punish those who did it, and we will never allow this kind of cowardly misconduct to divide our city or distract our citizens from the real and meaningful progress that we are all making together.”

The Vesey monument was erected in 2014 and details Vesey’s path to freedom and role in planning an 1822 slave revolt. Vesey was executed along with 34 others for their parts in the conspiracy on July 2, 1822.

Vandals are suspected to have targeted the monument on at least one other occasion, in 2017.

City officials are planning repairs, and police are already investigating the vandalism. Anyone with information is asked to call (843) 743-7200 and ask for the Charleston Police Department on duty central detective.