U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday authorized the arrest of anyone who demolishes or vandalizes monuments or statues, with a sentence of up to 10 years in prison.
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The new order may be applied retroactively to those who previously participated in the monuments' demolition.
"I authorize the federal government to arrest anyone who damages any monument, statue, or other property in the country, in accordance with the Veterans Memorial Preservation Act," President twitted.
A wave of protests has rocked the country since May 25 when George Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Since then, the monuments associated with slavery and colonization have been destroyed.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas demanded that the federal government take action against the demolition of statues of American historical figures.
"I will deploy the US military on the streets," Trump has threatened, a move that have been widely condemned by rights activists, politicians, and military leaders.