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Press Release

Utah Man Charged in Attack on Memorial to African American Civil War Soldiers at the National Gallery of Art

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

            WASHINGTON – Jackson Green, 27, of Sandy, Utah, was taken into custody today following an indictment charging him with Damage to National Gallery of Art Property for his attack on the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial in the National Gallery of Art’s West Wing.

            According to the indictment, unsealed today, on November 14, 2023, Green, a member of the Declare Emergency climate group, entered the National Gallery of Art, carrying red paint.  He then proceeded to smear the words “Honor Them” in red paint on the wall next to the patinated plaster work. The attack was videotaped by supporters of Declare Emergency and released online. Green caused more than $700 in damages.

            The oversized piece, created by American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the late 1880s, commemorates one of the first Civil War regiments of African Americans enlisted in the North, which drew recruits from many states and included Frederick Douglass’ own sons.

            This is the third member of Declare Emergency charged in relation to attacks on the National Gallery of Art.  In April 2023, Joanna Smith, 54, and her alleged co-conspirator, Timothy Martin, 54, of North Carolina, smeared paint on the case and base of Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer, Age Fourteen, at times smacking the case with force. Prior to the attack, members of the conspiracy had alerted the Washington Post, and two reporters from the Post recorded and photographed the offense. Following the action, the National Gallery was required to remove the sculpture from public display for 10 days. Gallery officials said it cost over $4,000 to repair the damage to the Degas sculpture.

            In December, Smith pleaded guilty to one count of causing injury to a National Gallery of Art exhibit in the April 27, 2023, defacement of Edgar Degas’ Little Dancer, Age Fourteen. U.S. District Court Judge Berman Jackson scheduled sentencing for April 3, 2024.  A trial for Ms. Smith’s co-conspirator Timothy Martin is scheduled for August 26, 2024.

            The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, specifically the FBI’s Art Crime Team, with assistance from National Gallery of Art Police, and U.S. Park Police. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron A. Tepfer of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.

            An indictment is merely an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated February 9, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-102