In Overnight Move, Baltimore Removes Confederate Statues

Four come down, with mayor saying it's in the name of safety
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2017 7:37 AM CDT
Baltimore Takes Down 4 Confederate Monuments
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday in Baltimore.   (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Four Confederate monuments that stood in Baltimore on Tuesday morning were no longer there as of Wednesday morning. The city undertook a surprise overnight operation to remove them, with crews starting about 11:30pm and working until the early morning, reports the Baltimore Sun. (See video.) "They needed to come down," says Mayor Catherine Pugh. "My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could." Overshadowing the move, of course, is the violence in Charlottesville, Va., that revolved around the removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee. One of the statues that came down in Baltimore was of Lee with fellow Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson. It had stood in a city park since 1948, notes the New York Times.

Also coming down was a Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, another honoring Confederate women, and one in tribute to former Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney, who wrote the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857 decreeing that even free blacks had no right to citizenship. Pugh said the city is still figuring out where the statues will end up. In North Carolina, meanwhile, a 22-year-old woman who helped topple a Confederate statue faces felony charges, reports the Herald Sun. Takiyah Thompson admits she climbed a ladder and tied a rope to the statue of a Confederate soldier so it could be pulled down. Among her charges is participation in a riot with property damage of $1,500. "Let me be clear, no one is getting away with what happened," says the local sheriff. (More Baltimore stories.)

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