ALEA identifies red substance splattered on Alabama Capitol steps

Updated: Jul. 29, 2020 at 5:56 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - An investigation is underway to determine who splattered a red substance across the marble steps of the Alabama Capitol Wednesday afternoon and why.

The Montgomery Police Department and Alabama State Troopers responded to the scene. Senior Trooper Michael Carswell said after an investigation, it was determined that the substance was a non-permanent tomato-like paste.

Cleaning crews have since been brought in to clean the steps. Troopers have also erected metal barricades around the area.

Crews work to clean an unknown red substances off the steps of the Alabama Capitol Wednesday...
Crews work to clean an unknown red substances off the steps of the Alabama Capitol Wednesday afternoon.(Source: WSFA 12 News)

On two recent occasions Montgomery police have responded to the Capitol regarding the Save Ourselves, or SOS Movement. The group has used the Capitol as a backdrop on multiple occasions for its protests over the state not expanding Medicaid.

Montgomery police have made arrests in front of the building twice because SOS members have spray painted messages on the street in front of the stairs.

Reached for comment, John Zippert, SOS Health Committee Co-Chair, said he was unaware of the incident and said he “does not believe that SOS put any red substance on the Capitol Steps.”

Zippert, who was among five SOS members MPD arrested on July 20, added, “We have written or tried to write: Black Lives Matter, Good Trouble and Expand Medicaid.” On Tuesday, several more were detained after a similar incident.

On Wednesday morning, Montgomery Police Chief Ernest Finley released a statement saying the defacement or destruction of public property will not be tolerated.

It’s unclear who is responsible for the latest incident.

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