Stoney Orders Immediate Removal of Confederate Monuments

Says Removal Will Expedite Healing Process for City

WRVA News
July 01, 2020 - 3:33 pm
Preparations underway on July 1 to remove the Stonewall Jackson monument on Monument Avenue in Richmond. (Photo Credit: Matt Demlein WRVA)

(Photo Credit: Matt Demlein WRVA)

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Richmond, VA — Today, Mayor Levar Stoney, using his emergency powers, ordered the immediate removal of multiple monuments in the city, including Confederate statues.

 The mayor presented two reasons for this action to city council. First, that failing to remove the statues presents a severe, immediate and growing threat to public safety.

 “As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge, and protestors attempt to take down Confederate statues themselves, or confront others who are doing so, the risk grows for serious illness, injury, or death,” noted the mayor. “We have an urgent need to protect the public.”

 Second, the mayor asserted that immediate removal will expedite the healing process for the city, a former capital of the Confederacy constantly grappling with that legacy.

 In March of 2020, the General Assembly passed an amendment empowering localities like Richmond to remove monuments to the Lost Cause. The law took effect today, July 1, at 12 AM, allowing Richmond to enter into a 60-day administrative process during which the city will solicit public input while determining the fate of the statues. Any removed statues will be placed in temporary storage while that process takes place.