On a day when many Americans are feeling frustrated with results from the midterm elections, here’s a reminder to keep your emotions in check.
Austin Mikel Clay, the man who took a pickax to President Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame over the summer, on Wednesday pleaded no contest to a charge of vandalism. According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, Clay, a resident of Glendale, Calif., was sentenced to one day in county jail, 20 hours of community service, and three years of formal probation. He was ordered to pay $9,400 in restitution to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and attend psychological counseling.
Clay, 24, turned himself into police a day after pulling a pickax out of a guitar case and chopping away at Trump’s star, leaving the sidewalk in pieces.
Clay is not the only one to attack Trump’s star, given in recognition for his work on The Apprentice and with the Miss Universe organization. During Trump’s presidential campaign, his star was spray-painted and surrounded by a 6-inch wall — a dig at his proposal to build a wall at the Mexico border — and smashed with both a sledgehammer and, yep, a pickax. NBC 4 reported that, in February 2017, James Otis pleaded no contest to felony vandalism in that case. He was sentenced to three years of probation and 20 days of community service and ordered to pay $4,400 for the damage he caused.
When people are unhappy with one of our honorees, we would hope that they would project their anger in more positive ways than to vandalize a California State landmark. People can make a difference by voting & not destroying public property. Read statement https://t.co/cRuHtfrN9R pic.twitter.com/NSDZQxSnBK
— Hollywood Chamber (@HollywoodArea) July 25, 2018
The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, which awards the stars, has said that all stars it has given out will stand. That goes for Trump’s, which is particularly vulnerable to vandalism since he became president, as well as those of Bill Cosby, who was convicted of sexual assault in October, and other controversial celebrities.
Despite that policy, the city of West Hollywood unanimously passed a resolution in August to remove Trump’s star, located near the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue. The city council members who sponsored it cited not only the costs associated with the upkeep of Trump’s star but also his views on women, climate change, and other issues. They resolved to send a letter to other local government bodies seeking support.
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