Judge: Tarps covering Charlottesville Confederate monuments must come down

Tarps covering statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson in two Charlottesville...

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 12:06 PM
Updated: Feb 28, 2018 12:06 PM

Tarps covering statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson in two Charlottesville, Virginia, parks must be removed, a judge ruled Tuesday in the latest twist in the battle over their future.

Circuit Judge Richard E. Moore said the black shrouds must be removed within 15 days of the order being filed, said Brian Wheeler, director of communications for Charlottesville. Wheeler said the city was disappointed with the ruling but he was not sure whether it will appeal.

Even if the statues are again visible, their fate is unclear: The city wants them permanently removed, while those against the idea have turned to courts.

The city last August covered the statues while it mourned the death of two troopers and Heather Heyer, who was killed when a car plowed into counterprotesters who had gathered to oppose a rally of white nationalist and other right-wing organizations.

But Moore ruled the city never defined the length of the "temporary" shrouding. "I cannot find that council ever intended for them to be temporary and they have never, until recently, even discussed that possibility," he wrote in a letter to lawyers.

Wheeler said the city believed otherwise.

"The expectation of our city manager and council was that the shrouds could be up as long as a year in respect to the lives lost on August 12."

Besides Heyer, two Virginia State Police troopers died when their police helicopter crashed and burned in Charlottesville as they patrolled near the site of the clashes.

The decision came as protesters on both sides of the issue gathered outside the courthouse, CNN affiliate WVIR reported.

Moore has said the tarps have interfered with the public's right to see the monuments and enjoy the parks.

"The statute that prohibits the moving or damaging of such memorials and monuments places on the locality the duty to protect, preserve, and care for such," Moore wrote.

CNN attempted to reach an attorney for those seeking to have the shrouds removed. The attorney, Ralph Main, told WVIR the right decision was made.

The City Council would like to see the statues gone, but thus far has not been able to win Virginia General Assembly action that would give it the authority to remove such memorials, said Wheeler.

According to WVIR, a lawsuit claims elected officials have overstepped their authority by leaving the tarps and have no legal right to remove the statues. A legal battle over the statues' fate will continue.

Meanwhile, Charlottesville has sought proposals to carry out a downtown parks master plan that would create additional interpretation at Justice Park, where the Jackson statue stands, and at Emancipation Park, formally Lee Park.

The City Council would like Justice Park to include a memorial to the city's enslaved population, Wheeler said.

"The basic goal is to provide a more complete history of our community that includes the history of slavery and addresses the community's concerns about the history of white supremacy," he said.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 578494

Reported Deaths: 9202
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion798821282
Lake43601664
Allen31380537
Hamilton27675303
St. Joseph26409369
Elkhart23873336
Vanderburgh18192211
Tippecanoe16999116
Porter14183158
Johnson14120277
Hendricks13560236
Madison10312209
Vigo10297171
Clark9952128
Monroe8933105
Delaware8638129
LaPorte8589153
Kosciusko777375
Howard7712136
Warrick624990
Hancock621995
Bartholomew616094
Floyd5971105
Wayne5811155
Grant5716108
Dubois533570
Boone523167
Morgan501485
Marshall487084
Henry483262
Cass464959
Noble453956
Dearborn443343
Jackson410145
Shelby394376
Lawrence374172
Clinton359838
Gibson348556
DeKalb333063
Montgomery329150
Knox323339
Harrison317242
Miami305043
Steuben300740
Adams291635
Ripley287145
Wabash286345
Whitley286324
Huntington278757
Putnam278046
Jasper274933
White262038
Daviess255671
Jefferson242738
Fayette239248
Decatur237382
Greene229259
Posey225626
Wells225146
LaGrange222061
Scott212837
Clay212432
Randolph204940
Jennings188635
Sullivan185831
Spencer176917
Fountain175125
Washington170216
Starke169241
Jay160521
Fulton156829
Owen155536
Carroll150115
Orange146333
Rush145618
Vermillion141633
Perry141327
Franklin139333
Parke12718
Tipton126232
Pike111325
Blackford105122
Pulaski93636
Newton87820
Brown84428
Benton83010
Crawford7229
Martin68013
Warren6427
Switzerland6035
Union6033
Ohio4547
Unassigned0372

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 807293

Reported Deaths: 9990
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin95508704
Cuyahoga80262964
Hamilton59783436
Montgomery40858396
Summit32488697
Lucas29495575
Butler29100225
Stark24048388
Warren18471135
Lorain17563207
Mahoning16430334
Lake14941134
Clermont14703103
Delaware1349574
Licking12353132
Trumbull12096297
Fairfield1184280
Greene11338132
Medina10815164
Clark10334261
Wood9742153
Allen9355126
Miami867373
Portage8628104
Richland8604111
Marion7231112
Tuscarawas6987172
Columbiana6922124
Pickaway689050
Wayne6599162
Muskingum648939
Erie5729117
Hancock529088
Ross518287
Scioto508753
Geauga469955
Darke450589
Ashtabula431467
Union422327
Mercer419485
Lawrence417051
Sandusky413262
Auglaize407059
Shelby404621
Seneca404354
Huron399738
Jefferson391565
Belmont378140
Putnam359370
Washington357039
Athens35469
Madison331128
Knox329022
Ashland322538
Fulton319043
Defiance311476
Crawford306769
Preble306434
Brown289617
Logan284828
Ottawa275534
Clinton272741
Williams265757
Highland255618
Jackson250743
Guernsey234625
Champaign233727
Fayette218929
Morrow21754
Holmes215562
Perry215317
Henry206147
Hardin200932
Coshocton194517
Van Wert193744
Wyandot186948
Gallia186226
Adams160815
Pike160116
Hocking157423
Carroll143216
Paulding137521
Noble116138
Meigs99021
Monroe93827
Harrison8428
Morgan75826
Vinton64013
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 19°
Angola
Cloudy
27° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 27°
Huntington
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 25°
Feels Like: 25°
Fort Wayne
Cloudy
25° wxIcon
Hi: 39° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 19°
Lima
Cloudy
28° wxIcon
Hi: 40° Lo: 27°
Feels Like: 23°
Cloudy Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events