Baltimore Mayor Says Confederate Statues Were Removed Overnight to Stave Off Charlottesville-like Unrest

Confederate statues in Baltimore were removed from their bases overnight, as crews using heavy machinery loaded them onto flat bed trucks and hauled them away, an end to more than a year of indecision surrounding what to do with the memorials.

The action comes after Mayor Catherine Pugh pledged to remove four statues linked to the Confederacy from public spaces in the city and the Baltimore City Council unanimously passed a resolution to tear them down after a national conversation was renewed following a deadly act of terror during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday.

Mayor Catherine Pugh said Wednesday morning crews working for the city began removing the four Confederate monuments at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and finished at 5:30 a.m.

“It’s done,” she said Wednesday morning. “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could.”

Pugh said she personally watched as monuments were taken down.

As she did on Monday, Pugh again said she was surprised more hadn’t been done on the process of removing the statues before she took office. She said the city is still lining up plans on what to do with the monuments now that they’ve been taken down. But the quick overnight action was designed in part to avoid violent conflicts over their removal like what Charlottesville experience.

“I did not want to endanger people in my own city,” she said. “I had begun discussions with contractors and so forth about how long it would take to remove them. I am a responsible person, so we moved as quickly as we could.”

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SOURCE: Sean Welsh and Colin Campbell
The Baltimore Sun