Second statue, this one honoring Columbus, toppled in Denver

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DENVER  | A second statue, this one dedicated to Christopher Columbus, has been toppled in downtown Denver, as protesters across the nation have defaced and torn down statues of historic figures during recent demonstrations against racial injustice.

KMGH-TV reported Friday that the 15-foot (5-meter) bronze statue in Civic Center Park was toppled late Thursday. Denver police spokesman Doug Schepman said authorities were investigating.

The incident followed the toppling of a statue outside the Capitol that honored Union soldiers early Thursday. That statue also acknowledged volunteer soldiers’ role in the 1864 Sand Creek Massacre, in which more than 200 Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians, mainly women and children, were killed in southeast Colorado.

The park sculpture didn’t depict Columbus but a plaque at its base dedicated it to him. The city had said it was evaluating what to do with the sculpture or the plaque after the protests.

Statues of Columbus have been torn down by protesters in other cities, citing the explorer’s role in launching European colonization of the Americas that exploited and led to the deaths of millions of native people.