Posted on December 10, 2020

Man Who Toppled Christopher Columbus Statue Avoids Jail Time Due to ‘Restorative Justice’ Program

Marol Safi, Daily Caller, December 7, 2020

A man who caused more than $150,000 in damages to a Christopher Columbus statue in St. Paul, Minnesota, is avoiding jail time due to a restorative justice program that will instead require he complete community service, CBS Minnesota reported Monday.

Michael Anthony Forcia was charged with criminal damage to property in the first degree after organizing an event to knock down the statue at the Minnesota State Capitol on June 10 amid riots and protests in Minneapolis following the death of George Floyd roughly two weeks prior, according to CBS Minnesota.

Although the punishment for a conviction of someone with no criminal history is a probationary sentence with supervision of up to five years, Forcia will instead serve 100 hours of community service after Ramsey County Attorney John Choi initiated a restorative justice process. {snip}

The process involved two circles where Forcia’s actions were discussed. Dr. Ran Sethuarju, a criminal justice professor, facilitated one of the circles alongside Beverley Busyhead, a Native American community member. Within the circles, the U.S.’s history of violence toward Native Americans and the civil unrest following Floyd’s death were discussed, with the ultimate conclusion being that jail time would not restore healing in the community.


{snip} Damages to the statue are estimated to cost $154,553.