Another Lawsuit Over Richmond Statues

WRVA News
July 10, 2020 - 10:29 pm
The Jefferson Davis Memorial on Monument Avenue in Richmond VA.

BrianPIrwin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

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Richmond, VA _  Two Monument Avenue residents have filed suit in Richmond Circuit Court according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, challenging the removal of the confederate statues, memorials, and plaques in the city, and seeking to have them restored.

The suit alleges that Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney illegally ordered the statues removed on July 1st, the first day a new state law took effect allowing localities to determine the fate of their statues.  Under that law, there must be a 60-day administrative process to allow for public input to determine the fate of  the statues. 

Stoney, in issuing the order to remove the statues and memorials said he was doing so, against the advice of the interim City Attorney, under the city's State of Emergency, in order to keep people safe as protesters were toppling statues.  The suit argues that "Mayor Stoney had available means to safeguard public safety within the Monument Avenue Historic District and in the
locations in which the other monuments were located without removing the monuments at issue."

Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley Cavedo late Thursday afternoon issued  a 60-day injunction halting further removal of Confederate monuments in Richmond.  The injunction was issued at the request of an anoymous plaintiff who filed the request Tuesday, arguing that the emergency order Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney issued to have the monuments removed was unlawful and in violation of public notice requirements.  Cavedo also issued an injunction preventing the state from removing the statue of Robert E. Lee while litigation is working its way through the courts.