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Confederate monument in Richmond vandalized with what appears to be red paint

Paint appears on the statue of Confederate General A. P. Hill as it was vandalized overnight in Richmond, Va., Wednesday, August 22, 2018. 

Steve Helber/AP

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Confederate statue in Richmond, Virginia, was vandalized overnight with what appears to be red paint. The vandalism followed this week's toppling of a Confederate monument in North Carolina.

Police spokesman James Mercante said a patrol officer observed a "red paint-like" substance on the statue of Confederate Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill around 12:40 a.m. Wednesday. Police believe the vandalism happened around midnight, according to Mercante.

An investigation is underway, CBS Richmond affiliate WTVR reported

"The Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities is responsible for the removal of the vandalism," a Richmond Police spokesperson said, WTVR reported. "If the damage from the vandalism is $1,000 or more the person responsible can be charged with a felony."

Richmond has been debating what do with other Confederate monuments that stand on Monument Avenue in a different part of the city. The Hill statue hasn't been part of that discussion. 

On Monday night, the controversial "Silent Sam" statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was toppled by protesters. Students, faculty and alumni had called that statue a racist image and asked officials to remove it, though some argued it was a tribute to fallen ancestors.