Rosemine Occean reportedly tossed yellow paint on the monument which depicts the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
The woman is reportedly mentally disturbed and said that she vandalized the monument because the sculpture was “an improper depiction of history.”
A psychologist, pleading on behalf of Occean, testified that Occean was diagnosed with a mood disorder over ten years ago. Occean entered a plea of not guilty to malicious destruction of property over $250 and one count of vandalizing a historic monument.
“The 54th” was the focus of the popular 1989 movie “Glory,” for which Denzel Washington won an Academy Award for acting as a freed slave who enlisted in the regiment. Other stars in the film were Morgan Freeman, Matthew Broderick, and Andre Braugher.
Lt. Benny White, a Civil War re-enactor whose group honors the regiment commented on the vandalism case saying,
“I think I feel a little sad for her because she may not know what the monument really stands for. I won’t judge her, that’s not my place. But I would like to see that person get some kind of a training course about what these men went through during the Civil War. This [monument] honors more than just the men of the 54th,” White said. “It’s for all of the 30,000 African-American men who gave their lives in the Civil War.”
Although what she did was horrific, most people can forgive Occean, considering that she has spent the last ten years dealing with a mental disorder.