Columbus Vandal Tells Judge, ‘Nothing Wrong With Me’
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The vandal responsible for hacking the statue of Christopher Columbus on Saturday faced a magistrate today for destruction to government property.
Thirty-seven-year-old Shervandaze Smith who has called himself ‘Michael the Arch Angel’ told Joyann Ferguson-Pratt, “There’s nothing wrong with me.”
Ferguson-Pratt debated whether or not Smith was fit to plead to the charges and eventually remanded him to the Bahamas Department of Corrections for mental evaluation since Sandilands Rehabilitation Center has a moratorium on admissions.
Smith told the court he was once a butler at a resort. He lived with his mother but vacated after she said he was mentally unstable.
Why it matters
Smith’s action of vandalizing the statue of Christopher Columbus, has stirred public debate on the removal of the colonial statue.
Though unlawful, some Bahamians took to social media to support the vandalism, decrying the atrocities of Columbus whom many have said is responsible for the demise of the indigenous people, the Arawaks.
Questions were raised on the laxity of security at Government House since Smith was not intercepted by an officer before committing the act.
State of play
The statue remains covered in a blue tarp on the premises of Government House. Prime Minister Philip Davis has spoken on the issue stating that he will not support acts of vandalism.
He said his government will decide to repair or replace the statue.