Man charged for vandalizing Little Rock Confederate graves

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A man faces felony charges for vandalizing a Confederate cemetery in Little Rock earlier this year, police said.

Mujera Benjamin Lungaho, 30, was arrested Thursday and faces felony charges of first-degree criminal mischief and felony desecration and removal of a cemetery grave marker.

Police have also determined that the damage at the cemetery exceeded $50,000, which is Little Rock's statutory limit for charging someone under the city’s new hate crime ordinance, police spokesman Lt. Casey Clark said.

Video surveillance from the cemetery shows Lungaho and a woman with a hooded jacket sneaking into Oakland Cemetery Park in Little Rock on July 11 and writing “Black Lives Matter." They also wrote an obscenity related to President Donald Trump on an obelisk marking the grave sites of nearly 900 unidentified Confederate soldiers, according to Sexton John Raines, who works at the cemetery.

Lungaho's arrest comes on the same day several government buildings, including the Little Rock Police Department headquarters, were spray painted with phrases that included “defund the police” and “charge killer cops.” Two police vehicles were also spray painted, according to an incident report.

Police have not arrested any other suspects in the cemetery vandalism. But authorities and cemetery officials have speculated that at least two other people were involved— the woman in the video and the driver of a vehicle that left tracks in the cemetery.

Lungaho is being held at Pulaski County Jail. Bond has not yet been set.

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