Men who helped restore Douglass statue make amends for past vandalism

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, July 17, 2020
Men who vandalized different statue as teens, restore Douglass statue
The men said that they wanted to make amends for their past actions.

ROCHESTER, New York (WABC) -- A Rochester statue of a famous abolitionist and civil rights advocate was reinstalled thanks in large part to a pair of unique volunteers.

When Charles Milks and John Boedicker heard that a monument to Frederick Douglass had been vandalized, they were called to action.

Years earlier, the pair were caught vandalizing a different Douglass statue and vowed to make amends.

Thursday was their opportunity. The men carried and then secured the restored Douglass statue at its rightful place.

"When we heard the news, it was the first thing that we wanted to do," Milks said. "And then just reach out and support in any way possible."

"We feel like there has been healing," said Lynda Bell, The Center of Dispute Settlement. "There has been a victim restored to themselves and we've also restored young people like this and given them another chance."

So far, there have been no arrests in this latest act of vandalism.

The incident remains under investigation.

RELATED: Historical statues damaged in CT and NY


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