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Richmond Orders Removal of Confederate Statues on City Land


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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The mayor of Richmond, Virginia, on Wednesday, ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate statues on city land, saying he was using his emergency powers to speed up the healing process for the former capital of the Confederacy amid weeks of protests over police brutality and racial injustice. Within hours, a towering statue of a Confederate general was hoisted from its base.

The decision came weeks after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the removal of the most prominent and imposing Confederate statue along Richmond’s Monument Avenue, that of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which sits on state land. The removal of the Lee statue has been stalled pending the resolution of two lawsuits.

On city land along the avenue, work crews removed a statue of Gen. Stonewall Jackson on Wednesday afternoon after spending several hours carefully attaching a harness to the massive figure and using power tools to remove the hooves of the statue’s carved horse from the base. Flatbed trucks and other equipment were spotted at several other monuments as well. The city has roughly a dozen Confederate statues on municipal land, including one of Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. Mayor Levar Stoney said it will take several days to remove them.

“This is long overdue,” said Brent Holmes, a Black man who watched as crews took the Jackson statue down. He added: “One down, many more to go.”

Stoney said he also was moving quickly because protesters have already toppled several Confederate monuments and he is concerned that people could be hurt trying to take down the gigantic statues.

Copyright 2020. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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