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FBI and US Park Police seek protesters who tried to topple statue in Lafayette Square

The two departments are asking the public to identify protesters who attempted to take down the Andrew Jackson statue in Lafayette Square on Monday.

WASHINGTON — The FBI and US Park Police are asking for the public's help in identifying protesters who tried to tear down the Andrew Jackson statue outside the White House earlier this week.

The agencies posted photos of 15 people they are asking to be identified, stating they "are responsible for vandalizing federal property" at the square. On Monday, demonstrators and police engaged in a standoff at the statue.

Just before 8 p.m. that night, the protesters broke through the fence surrounding the Andrew Jackson statue, threw ropes around it, and climbed on top to try to topple the bronze statue depicting Jackson in military uniform riding a horse that is reared on its hind legs.

The photos released by the agencies can be found here.

On Friday, President Donald Trump shared the photo released by the agencies on his Twitter page, describing Monday night's statue takedown as "disgraceful vandalism." Last week, the statue of Confederate General Albert Pike was torn down and burned by demonstrators. 

RELATED: Protesters, police clash in Lafayette Square after trying to tear down Andrew Jackson statue

Credit: AP
The White House is visible behind a statue of President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park, Tuesday, June 23, 2020, in Washington, with the word "Killer" spray painted on its base. Protesters tried to topple the statue Monday night. President Tump had tweeted late Monday that those who tried to topple the statue of President Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Park across the street from the White House faced 10 years in prison under the Veteran's Memorial Preservation Act. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

It's not the first time the President has called for arrests.

On June 22, the president tweeted that he has "authorized" the federal government to "arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S" with up to 10 years in prison.  He cited the Veterans Memorial Preservation Act 

One part of the 2003 law states that whoever destroys or attempts to destroy a plaque, monument or statue "commemorating the service" of any persons in the armed forces will be fined and/or imprisoned for up to 10 years.

RELATED: What is the Veterans' Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003?

Credit: AP
A protester speaks with a Park Police officer standing guard with a line of police closing off off the area around Lafayette Park near the White House after protesters tried to topple a statue of Andrew Jackson in the park in Washington, early Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)

RELATED: DC Mayor on statues: 'We need to have a reasonable conversation... not have a mob decide that they want to pull it down'

RELATED: President Trump says 'learn from history' instead of removing statues

RELATED: President Trump threatens anyone destroying statues could face 10 years in prison

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