A 74-year-old Alabama man was arrested and charged with criminal tampering last month after he smeared ketchup on the statue of a doctor known for experimenting on enslaved black women, AL.com reported Wednesday.

Jon Broadway had gone to the state Capitol's grounds on April 23 — the day the state observes Confederate Memorial Day — to perform a skit in front of a statue of J. Marion Sims and start a discussion about racial issues.


Sims, widely considered the father of modern gynecology, honed his medical techniques during the 1800s by practicing them first on enslaved black women without the use of anesthesia. There is no record of whether the slaves gave their consent for the procedures, but AL.com noted that only their owners’ permission would be necessary at the time.

Broadway, who is white, is a member of a group of Montgomery, Ala., residents who wanted to produce conversations on racial issues, AL.com reported. An unnamed black woman, whom AL.com identified as a fellow activist, joined Broadway in the skit to play the part of a slave, Anarcha, who underwent a number of Sims’s procedures.

Broadway and the woman used ketchup to represent blood during their demonstration.

“[Sims] was a butcher. He didn't try to save black babies, he just used us like guinea pigs," the woman says in the skit as she rubs ketchup on the statue. "Know your history. This statue needs to be removed."

Broadway was arrested after the skit and was charged with misdemeanor criminal tampering.

The statue’s removal is blocked by an Alabama law passed last year, which stops local governments from moving historical monuments that have been in place on public property for at least 40 years without the approval of a committee, according to AL.com.