Protesters tore down a bust of a slave owner and then took the remains to the Mississippi River and rolled it down the banks into the water.
The destruction of the John McDonogh bust is part of a nationwide effort to remove monuments to the Confederacy or with links to slavery as the country grapples with widespread protests against police brutality toward African Americans in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
Police said in a statement that demonstrators at Duncan Plaza, which is directly across the street from City Hall, dragged the bust into the streets, loaded it onto trucks and took it to the Mississippi River where they threw it in.
Two people who were driving the trucks transporting the bust were apprehended by police, authorities said. Their names were not given in the statement.
But arrest records indicate that Caleb Wassell, 27, and Michaela Davis, 30, each face multiple charges, including inciting a riot, according to WWL-TV.
Wassell is white and Davis is black.
Wassell has been charged with illegal possession of stolen property, inciting a riot, theft under $1,000 and inciting a felony.
Davis faces charges of battery of a police officer, being a principal to theft, possession of marijuana, inciting a riot, inciting a felony and aggravated flight from an officer.
This is the first arrest for both individuals in New Orleans. They were reportedly booked into Orleans Parish Jail early Sunday morning.
Authorities allege that Wassell and Davis were the two who drove the toppled bust to the banks of the Mississippi River, where it was eventually thrown into the water.
Police also released images of a person of interest that is alleged to have spraypainted the statue and used a hammer to damage it.