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High court: Charlottesville can remove Confederate statues

Confederate Monuments Charlottesville
Posted at 2:24 PM, Apr 01, 2021

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Virginia's highest court has ruled that the city of Charlottesville can take down two statues of Confederate generals, including one of Robert E. Lee that became the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017.

The state Supreme Court on Thursday overturned a Circuit Court decision in favor of a group of residents who sued to block the city from taking down the Lee statue and a nearby monument to fellow Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson.

Charlottesville's city council had voted to remove both.

In 1918, a resident offered to donate land for the statutes, which the city accepted, The Associated Press reported.

In 1921, the Jackson statue was erected in Jackson Park, and in 1924, the Lee statue was erected in Lee Park, according to The AP.

“In other words, (the law) did not provide the authority for the City to erect the Statues, and it does not prohibit the City from disturbing or interfering with them,” State Supreme Court Justice Bernard Goodwyn said in his decision on Thursday.