UPDATE: Little Rock Police arrest Confederate cemetery vandal

Local News

Update:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Little Rock Police Department has arrested one man in connection to the Oakland Historic Cemetery vandalism.

On July 10, the Little Rock Police Department responded to the cemetery in reference to vandalism. Once officers arrived they found headstones and a Confederate memorial obelisk that had been damaged and had graffiti spray-painted on them.

According to police, the cemetery staff had put out game cameras, as a security measure, which was able to capture a photo of the suspect.

Police were able to identify 30-year-old Mujera Benjamin Lungaho of North Little Rock. According to police, warrants were served on September 3 and Lungaho will be charged with criminal mischief in the first degree, and desecration or removal of a cemetery or grave marker.

Mujera Benjamin Lungaho

Police say the damages are estimated to be at over $50,000 which exceeds the statutory limit set in city code to charge with the city’s new Hate Crime Ordinance.

This investigation is still on-going. If you have any information regarding this case, you are asked to call LRPD.

Original Story:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.– Confederate monuments in several cities across the country are being defaced and toppled over.

Little Rock Police are investigating after individuals did something similar at the Oakland and Fraternal Historic Cemetery. 

The graveyard’s caretaker says at least two people spray-painted the monument marking the site where 900 Confederate soldiers are buried in a mass grave. 

It happened at 2:00 a.m. Friday morning; the caretaker says he was in disbelief when he saw the damage. 

“My heart fell down into my boots. I couldn’t believe that this had happened to us,” said John Rains, Sexton at Oakland and Fraternal Historic Cemetery. 

The vandals wrote messages reading, ‘Black Lives Matter’– ‘abolish the police’– ‘defund pigs’– ‘no justice’– ‘stay dead’– and profanity directed towards government officials. 

“Every time I look at it, it makes me mad,” said Rains. 

Rains says the monument was erected in 1914. He says two individuals were captured on a surveillance camera Friday morning using straps to try and pull the monument over.

“Just that top part weighs five or 6,000 pounds– there’s no way these people were going to pull it over with that,” said Rains.

Rains says in addition to the spray paint, the two individuals also chipped away at the structure and carved out the word ‘Confederate’ on the surrounding grave markers. 

“If you’re being disrespected, let people know in a civilized legal way, not something like this,”said Rains. 

Rains says they are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the people who did this. 

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