Mayor Pugh comments on vandalism of Francis Scott Key statue

Posted at 7:07 AM, Sep 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-14 07:08:46-04

Controversy surrounding confederate statues across the country has led to another statue in Baltimore to be vandalized. 

Wednesday morning, people in Bolton Hill found red paint covering the Francis Scott Key statue in downtown Baltimore.

RELATED: Francis Scott Key statue vandalized in Baltimore

In a statement, Mayor Catherine Pugh says,

"Freedom of speech is welcome in the city of Baltimore, but not at the cost of our public spaces and neighborhoods. Vandalism of any kind is unacceptable, and those found to be associated with this crime will be charged."

The monument was covered from the sidewalk, all the way up to the top of its columns. 

Francis Scott Key was a lawyer, author, and poet from Frederick, Maryland. His poem "The Defense of Fort McHenry" eventually became the United State's national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".

Someone also sprayed the words 'racist anthem' and 'slave owner' on the statue and sidewalk. 

TJ Smith, a spokesman with Baltimore City Police, also commented on the statue during a news conference Wednesday afternoon, 

"There's a way to go about doing this and I think that Baltimore, of all places, has seen how to go about this and there's action, but this is certainly not the appropriate way. It's destroying property."

READ ALSO: Confederate monuments removed overnight in Baltimore

Police say they do not have any useful surveillance video to help them figure out who did this. If you have any information call Baltimore City Police.