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Vandal hits bust of judge who issued Dred Scott ruling

This July 20, 2007 photo shows a bust of Roger Brooke Taney in front of Frederick's City Hall in Frederick, Md. Donna Kuzemchak is renewing her decade-old quest to remove the sculpture from City Hall of the U.S. Supreme Court chief justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision affirming slavery. (Sam Yu/The Frederick News-Post via AP)

This July 20, 2007 photo shows a bust of Roger Brooke Taney in front of Frederick’s City Hall in Frederick, Md.  (Sam Yu/The Frederick News-Post via AP)

FREDERICK — Frederick police are investigating the vandalism of a bust honoring the Supreme Court justice who wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision affirming slavery.

Authorities say the bust of Roger Brooke Taney was found covered in a red paint-like substance Sunday morning.

The Frederick News-Post reports that Mayor Randy McClement was seen helping a public works employee clean the statue.

Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchak has been leading an effort calling for the bust, which she and others consider offensive, to be removed from outside city hall.

Opponents say removing the sculpture would erase part of Frederick’s history, noting that Taney practiced law in the city.

Kuzemchak recently postponed a vote by aldermen on the issue until after a symposium on Taney earlier this month by the county historical society.