Richmond Mayor Orders Confederate Statues Be Removed From City Land

Richmond Mayor Orders Confederate Statues Be Removed From City Land
Richmond ​Mayor Levar Stoney said the statues ​pose a public safety threat amid recent protests in the city.

The mayor of Richmond, Virginia, has ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate statues from city property.

Mayor Levar Stoney used his emergency powers on Wednesday to have multiple Confederate monuments removed, saying the statues pose a public safety threat amid recent protests. Stoney said people could get hurt trying to take down the statues themselves, and that the large gatherings increase the chance of COVID-19 spread. He also said "it is past time ... to turn [the] page" on Richmond's Confederate legacy.

"These statues, although symbolic, have cast a shadow on the dreams of our children of color," Stoney said. "By removing them, we can begin to heal and focus all our attention on our future."

Work crews have already removed a bronze statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson, and the mayor said other statues will be taken down "over the next several days." Stoney says the removed statues will be placed in storage while a 60-day administrative process determines their fates.

Last month, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the removal of a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, but a judge blocked the move pending ongoing litigation.