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Baltimore Mayor Said the City Would Fight Any Lawsuits Concerning Removal of Confederate Statues

Last night, Baltimore removed all of its Confederate public statutes. Photo courtesy of New York Times.

Summary: In response to the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the mayor of Baltimore had all Confederate statues removed from the city overnight. 

On Wednesday, Baltimore’s mayor said that it was the “best interest of my city” to remove statues of dedicated Confederate heroes. This decision came days after violence broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, where hundreds came together to show their support of Nazis and KKK members’ ideology.

  
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Last weekend, white supremacists met in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate statue, and their presence prompted counter protestors to appear. On Saturday, a man drove his car into the counter-protestors, injuring 19 and killing one.

The violence and hate inspired Baltimore mayor Catherine Pugh to take a stand, and she ordered the removal of all Confederate statues in Baltimore to be taken down overnight. At a press conference on Wednesday, she gave the following statement:

“The mayor has the right to protect her city. For me, the statues represented pain, and not only did I want to protect my city from any more of that pain, I also wanted to protect my city from any of the violence that was occurring around the nation. We don’t need that in Baltimore,” Pugh said, according to The New York Times. 

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On Sunday, a group of protestors had gathered near the Robert E. Lee-“Stonewall” Jackson Monument at Wyman Park Dell, according to The Baltimore Sun, and they said that if the city did not take the monuments down that they would do it themselves.

Baynard Woods, the editor at large of The Baltimore City Paper, said that the mood during the monument’s removal after midnight was “celebratory.”



Baltimore’s mayor said that it was time to act and that enough talk had been done. The city had been researching the issue since 2015, and Pugh said that she had been working to remove the Confederate monuments since June. She said that after watching the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday, she realized that it was best to move forward quickly.

Pugh said that she did not anticipate a legal challenge but that the city would fight any lawsuit that was filed.

“I don’t think it would matter, because I think having consulted with my legal team I acted in the best interest of my city,” Pugh said to The New York Times.

Other cities besides Baltimore have expressed a desire to remove Confederate statues, but The Los Angeles Times reported that there could be issues in other jurisdictions that have laws prohibiting the removal of Confederate monuments.

“Whether we like them or not, you have to go to the orderly process of either the Legislature, the executive, if they have the authority for that, or judiciary in removing [the monuments],” Mississippi governor, Phil Bryant, told The Los Angeles Times. 

What do you think of Baltimore’s removal of Confederate monuments? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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