A protest took a wrong turn in Albuquerque on Monday after a man was shot during an attempt by protesters to topple a statue of a bronze conquistador outside of a museum.
Effectively putting the “put it in a museum” argument to rest, the protest quickly turned violent and forced heavily-armed and equipped officers to go into action.
“The shooting tonight was a tragic, outrageous and unacceptable act of violence and it has no place in our city,” Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said in a statement.
According to Fox News, the clash took place between a civilian group attempting to protect the statue from the protestors.
At least one person swung a pickaxe at the statue of New Mexico’s 16th-century colonial governor, Juan de Oñate. At one point, the protesters wrapped a chain around the statue and began pulling at it.
The shooting took place down the street, and police employed riot control devices to ensure safety for all involved.
According to Fox News, members of the New Mexico Civil Guard were detained, though it is unknown if they will face any charges or if the matter was one of self-defense.
Oñate is a polarizing figure in New Mexico. His arrival to the area in 1598 is culturally significant to many, but he is also disliked by native tribes due to brutal military action against their warriors.
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