'Blood on Your Hands': Charlottesville Meeting Erupts

City will cover statues in black for period of mourning
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2017 6:03 AM CDT
Mourning Charlottesville to Cover Statues in Black
Protesters yell during the Charlottesville City Council meeting Monday.   (Andrew Shurtleff/The Daily Progress via AP)

The Confederate statues at the heart of Charlottesville's deadly violence will be covered in black fabric during a period of mourning, the Daily Progress reports. The city council on Monday night voted to cover the monuments to Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson during a tumultuous meeting at which angry city residents accused them of being personally responsible for the three deaths related to the Aug. 12 protests. Two women raised a banner reading, "Blood on your hands," and others berated Mayor Mike Signer and council members for not ensuring that counter-protesters would be protected. "Why did you think you can walk in here and do a business-as-usual meeting after what happened on the 12th?" asked one community activist.

Three people were detained by police over disorderly conduct during the meeting, but the vice mayor said all would be released, reports NBC 29. Signer, who in the wake of the violence now supports removal of the statues from a city park, and other city officials told the crowd that Charlottesville was currently handcuffed by a lawsuit and state rules forbidding the removal of the statues. "We’ve been told that if we take them down tonight, we’re going to be personally sued," one councilor said. "We will personally be held liable and charged with a class-six felony." That did little to appease residents' anger. "Somebody has to be held accountable not only for the blood of those three lives but for every injury that happened this past weekend," said one of the attendees. (Read more Charlottesville, Va. stories.)

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