JACKSONVILLE, Fla — A nationwide trend of defacing monuments and statues honoring people with ties to slavery has made its way to Jacksonville, where someone has vandalized the Andrew Jackson statue downtown, located in the center of a traffic circle on E. Independent Drive.
Someone spray-painted the statue with red spray paint all over the former president's likeness, along with the words "slave owner" across the plaque at the base of the statue.
This is not the first time the statue has been the target of vandalism. In June 2015, someone placed a Native American mask on the statue near the former Jacksonville Landing, with white paintings on its face, long black hair and a Native American headband on its forehead.
City of Jacksonville crews had to use a bucket lift to remove it, but not before several pedestrians stopped to take a picture.
Later the same week, someone sprayed "Black Lives Matter" and "justice 4 D" in large orange letters at the base of the statue, according to WJCT.
Jacksonville is named after Andrew Jackson, who served as the seventh president of the United States from 1829 to 1837.
It was during his time in office that the Indian Removal Act was passed. The law led to the mass removal of Indian tribes from across the Southeast.
Monday's vandalism is not the first time this month that a monument in Jacksonville has been defaced. A statue glorifying the Civil War era in Confederate Park was spattered with red paint and tagged with the letters BLM, an abbreviation of Black Lives Matter, June 5.
Later that week, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry announced all of the city's Confederate monuments would be removed, but did not specify a timetable.
The “Women of the Southland” statue, located at the south end of the Springfield park, was built in 1915, the same year “Confederate Park” was named. It’s one of several monuments that activists have demanded be removed in recent years.
The group Take 'Em Down Jax, an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, has for years demanded the city take down the Confederate soldier statue in Hemming Park, which was removed earlier this month, along with the Andrew Jackson statue at the site of the former Jacksonville Landing.
There has even been some chatter online about the possibility of changing the name of the city, because of racism and slavery associated with Andrew Jackson, the city's namesake, although there are currently no official petitions to change the name of Jacksonville.