The Removal Of A Statue Of General Lee In Virginia Was Halted By A Judge: A Violation Of The Century-old Covenant

As protests against racial discrimination took place across the United States, calls grew for the removal of confederate monuments to the American Civil War. But just four days after Governor Northam announced his decision to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert Lee, a Virginia judge issued a ten-day injunction against the state government moving forward with the plan.

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Judge Bradley Carvaldo of the Richmond circuit Court in Virginia granted a request from several lawyers Monday to suspend all state preparations for the removal of the Robert Lee statue, USA Today reported. The order names Northam and Joseph D ‘Amico, the head of the state general Services Department, whose agency would have been responsible for removing the statue. Judge Cavado said in his order that Northam’s plan violated a deed filed in the local Henrico County in 1890. The deed states that the State of Virginia “warrants” that the statue will remain in its original place and that the state will “faithfully guard and affectionately protect it.”

The Richmond Memorial Avenue Conservancy said Tuesday it “fully” supports the judge’s decision, saying the plaintiffs, William Gregory, had close family ties with one of the original sponsors of the statue. On the same day, state spokeswoman Elena Yamoski responded to local media that the governor would not be affected by the move: “Governor Northam remains committed and we believe he has the authority to do so.” Jamosky also said the governor’s office is still “studying the order.”

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The statue, which was unveiled at Richmond’s Monument in 1890, was then the property of Henrico County, but has been owned by the city since 1892, on land in Virginia, the report said. The JUDGE’s order will not apply to statues owned by the city, according to A USA Today analysis. The judge himself said the 10-day ban was expected to have “little impact” on the state’s plans to remove the statue.

Richmond’s Robert Lee statue has been a rallying point for protesters since Freud’s death sparked protests across the country. Because Lee represented the pro-slavery Confederacy during the Civil War, some saw his statue as a racist symbol, and protest signs and graffiti were sprayed around the base. And across the country, protests against Confederate monuments have been repeated, with many small statues being marked by protesters or taken down.