Tags: charlottesville | robert e. lee | statue | covered

Charlottesville Robert E. Lee Statue Covered as Controversy Persists

Charlottesville Robert E. Lee Statue Covered as Controversy Persists

City workers drape a tarp over the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Emancipation park in Charlottesville, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Steve Helber/AP Photo)

By    |   Thursday, 24 August 2017 09:28 AM

The Charlottesville, Virginia, Robert E. Lee statue, along with the Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson statue, have been covered with black fabric, representing the city's mourning for a counter-protester who was killed during a violent rally on Aug. 12.

The city council's decision to cover the statues came early Tuesday morning after a tumultuous city council meeting that started Monday evening and led to arrests of three people on misdemeanor charges, the Charlottesville Daily Progress reported.

Just hours after city workers covered the statues Wednesday, resident John Miska attempted to cut off the black tarp, calling the masking a "desecration," ABC News reported.

Heather Heyer, 32, was killed by a motorist who appeared to deliberately drive into counter-protesters as they dissented the so-called Unite the Right rally. That original rally protested the council's earlier decision to move the Confederate statues from the public park.

James Alex Fields, Jr., 20, was charged with second-degree murder in connection with the incident, ABC News reported.

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer said he wants to remove the statues but Virginia state law is preventing the city from doing so, the Daily Progress reported. Signer said he has asked to state's general assembly to hold an emergency session to amend the law regarding the statues.

"We've been told that if we take them down tonight, we're going to be personally sued," councilor Wes Bellamy said Monday night, the Daily Progress noted. "We will personally be held liable and charged with a class-six felony."

That did not stop people at the crowded meeting to ask for Signer's resignation and for someone to be held responsible for the Aug. 12 rally, the newspaper wrote.

At the meeting, Donna Gasapo Gray, 43, was charged with disorderly conduct, while Mark Heisey, 30, and Sara Michel Tansey, 29, were charged with obstruction of justice, per the Daily Progress.

Charlottesville has become a flash point for the debate on what to do with statues honor Confederate soldiers and leaders around the country. President Donald Trump weighed in on the subject, at one time calling the statues "beautiful." He also suggested that the removals could set the precedent for the removal of other relics honoring our nation's heroes.

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The Charlottesville, Virginia, Robert E. Lee statue, along with the Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson statue, have been covered with black fabric, representing the city's mourning for a counter-protester who was killed during a violent rally on Aug. 12.
charlottesville, robert e. lee, statue, covered
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2017-28-24
Thursday, 24 August 2017 09:28 AM
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