Protester involved in pulling down abolitionist’s statue in Wisconsin gets 6 months in jail
Kelsey D. Nelson was sentenced for role in damaging Hans Christian Heg statue in Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A man who drove the car that helped pull down the statue of a Civil War hero and abolitionist outside of the Wisconsin state Capitol during a night of protests in 2020 has been sentenced to six months in jail.
The statue of Hans Christian Heg was toppled and beheaded during a protest in downtown Madison in June 2020 against police brutality. Protests began a month earlier over the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and flared up again that June after Madison police arrested a Black activist.
Kelsey D. Nelson, 33, was sentenced for his role in damaging the Heg statue and for looting a nearby jewelry store about a month earlier, the Wisconsin State Journal reported Friday.
Nelson apologized in court, saying he was “someone who was trying to make a difference.”
“I was just a person who woke up and saw the injustice done to a man named George Floyd,” Nelson said. “Am I going to say what I did was right? I am not.”
Nelson was also ordered to pay $5,000 to the jewelry store, a cost to be shared with two other people, and $2,500 to the state Department of Administration for the damage to the Heg statue, a cost to be shared with four others.
Most of the original Heg statue has been restored, but the head was stolen and had to be recreated. A man convicted of misdemeanor theft for stealing the head has since returned it to the state.
TheGrio is FREE on your TV via Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Roku and Android TV. Also, please download theGrio mobile apps today!