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Press Release

District Man Indicted on Federal Charges for Vandalizing the Lincoln Memorial During Protests

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Columbia
Defaced Lincoln Memorial

            WASHINGTON – Micah Avery, 26, of Washington, D.C., was indicted today in federal court on charges of destruction of federal property for spray-painting the Lincoln Memorial last month, announced Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Michael R. Sherwin and Acting Chief of the United States Park Police (USPP) Gregory T. Monahan.

            The federal grand jury returned an indictment that alleges that on the afternoon of May 30, 2020, officers with the U.S. Park Police witnessed Avery graffiti the words “Yall not tired yet?” with black spray paint on the Lincoln Memorial (see photo below).  Avery fled as the officers approached him.   After a chase, officers apprehended and handcuffed Avery.  Officers attempted to put the defendant into a patrol car, but he resisted their attempts.  A crowd converged on the officers and began pushing and striking the officers.  During this melee, Avery broke free and ran away.  One of the officers sustained an injury to his hand.  A look-out was broadcast, and Avery was located shortly thereafter by other officers back at the Lincoln Memorial, still wearing the handcuffs.

            An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct for purposes of establishing probable cause, not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

            “Defacing one of our country’s national monuments will not be tolerated,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michael R. Sherwin.

            In announcing the indictment, Acting U.S. Attorney Sherwin and Acting Chief Monahan commended the work of the USPP officers who apprehended Avery and are investigating the incident.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James B. Nelson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

Updated July 14, 2020

Press Release Number: 20-078