Request For Immediate Statue Removals

June 22, 2020 - 3:56 pm
J.E.B. Stuart Memorial on Monument Avenue in Richmond

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Richmond, VA _  Two members of Richmond City Council are calling for the immediate removal of confederate statues that sit on city-owned property, hours after police stopped a group of protesters from using ropes to try to bring down the J.E.B Stuart Statue on Monument Avenue.

5th District Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch and 9th District Councilman Michael Jones wrote a letter to interim City Attorney Haskell Brown requesting an opinion.  The letter states:

"In the interest of public safety, we are asking that you determine whether there is a legal precedent that would allow the remaining confederate monuments and memorials in Richmond to be removed as soon as possible.  Beyond their history as a symbol of white supremacy, they currently create a public safety threat. Protesters have clearly shown they are willing to take the removal of these statues into their own hands, as we have seen with the removal of smaller monuments in the city; there is a risk of people being injured or killed in an attempt to damage or remove the remaining monuments."

The letter further states, "It is the responsibility of City Council, as elected representatives of the people, to acknowledge safety threats, take legislative action when necessary, and demand action from the administration.  All nine Councilmembers have already indicated their support for removing the monuments, and protestors and organizers have made this demand very clear in their words and actions.  We hope you are able to issue an opinion on this quickly so the City of Richmond can take the necessary steps to address the matter."

The city doesn't take official control of the statues until July 1st under state law, but Norfolk and Farmville have already removed their statues in the interest of public safety.