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Confederate statue toppled in Richmond

Confederate statue toppled in Richmond
© Getty Images

A small group of protesters toppled a statue commemorating a Confederate general in Richmond, Va. late Saturday following a day of largely peaceful demonstrations against racial injustice and police brutality. 

A Richmond police spokeswoman told The Associated Press that a statue of Gen. Williams Carter Wickham, located in Monroe Park, was pulled from its pedestal. A group of protesters used a rope to topple the statue, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch

The newspaper noted that most of the protesters who had marched through the city on Saturday had left by the time the monument was pulled down. One person reportedly urinated on the statue before running away. 

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Video and photos showed what appeared to be red and yellow graffiti sprayed on the statue as it lay on the ground. The statue has appeared in the park since 1891. 

Confederate monuments have become prime targets amid protests that have swept across the nation in response to the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died in police custody in Minneapolis. Statues commemorating Confederate leaders were torn down in Tennessee and Alabama last week as tensions mounted. Several others have been defaced with graffiti. 

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced last Tuesday that a state-owned statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee would be removed from its perch on Richmond’s Monument Avenue.

The Lee statue is one of five Confederate monuments positioned along the residential street. Some have been sprayed with messages including “end police brutality” and “stop white supremacy" amid the protests, the AP noted. 

The move from Northam comes as some city and state leaders renew their efforts to get rid of tributes to the Confederacy.

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Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney (D) has announced that he will introduce a measure on July 1 to remove all the street’s Confederate monuments that sit on city property, which include Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. J.E.B. Stuart.