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Another suspect charged in SF obelisk destruction

Protesters topple a section of the “Soldiers’ Monument” on Oct. 12 in Santa Fe. Some 200 people overpowered police and destroyed the sculpture on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE, N.M. — A 72-year-old man is the latest person charged in connection with the Indigenous Peoples’ Day demonstration that resulted in the destruction of an monument that stood at the center of Santa Fe’s historic Plaza for 152 years, police announced on Friday.

Stephen Fox, of Santa Fe, was charged with criminal damage to property over $1,000, conspiracy and unlawful assembly. He is scheduled to be arraigned in Santa Fe magistrate court on Dec. 8

Fox, owner of the New Millennium Fine Art Gallery in downtown Santa Fe, is the eighth person charged in connection with the protest and the sixth related to the destruction of what was originally dedicated as the “Soldiers’ Monument” but what many view as a symbol of oppression of Native Americans.

In the arrest report, police say they were tipped off to Fox’s involvement by a video posted by the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper. In the video, Fox told a reporter that he had his hand on the rope that pulled down the obelisk.

Fox told the Journal he went to the protest because he heard a “lot of noise” from his gallery located on San Francisco Street. He said he didn’t think he was committing a crime when he was pulling on the rope.

“When someone handed me the rope, I accepted it,” Fox said. “(The mayor) made it perfectly clear that it was time for the obelisk to go.”