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Criminal Justice

Eight people who participated in 2020 obelisk rally have completed community service and paid fines

Obelisk

The eight people who participated in the “restorative justice program” rather than face time in jail for the roles in toppling the Plaza obelisk or skirmishing with police during a rally in 2020 have completed more than 320 hours of community service and were required to pay a total of over $15,000.

According to a report by the Santa Fe New Mexican, District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said the defendants distributed food to local shelters and food banks, provided counseling for at-risk youth, taught art and helped renovate a church into a community center, among other services.

Four individuals accused of helping to destroy the monument have had their cases dismissed.

Three of the remaining four were also charged with toppling the obelisk, and the fourth in the group was charged in an altercation with police before the monument came down.

These four still have work to do.

All eight signed a joint statement that included an apology to the city of Santa Fe and anyone hurt by their actions.

The obelisk destroyed during this rally was erected 153 years ago, in honor of the Civil War Union soldiers.

But in recent years, the monument became a focal point of controversy for some, who decried an etching on one side dedicating it to the soldiers who died fighting “savage Indians.”

The restorative justice program offered by the District Attorney’s Office has also been criticized for lacking both transparency and teeth.