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Gen. Lee statue can be removed, Virginia Supreme Court rules

Gov. Ralph Northam announced his plan to take down the statue last June, 10 days after George Floyd’s death.

RICHMOND, Va. — Author's note: The above video is on file from June 8, 2021. 

The Supreme Court of Virginia has ruled that the state can take down an enormous statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond.

 The 1890 monument was once celebrated but is now widely seen as a symbol of white supremacy and Black oppression.

 The court’s ruling on Thursday came in after two lawsuits filed by private citizens who attempted to block the statue’s removal. 

Gov. Ralph Northam announced his plan to take down the statue last June, 10 days after George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer sparked widespread protests in cities across the country, including Richmond.

The Department of General Services released the following statement on Thursday in regards to removal: 

“Following the court’s decision, we are moving swiftly to remove the Robert E. Lee statue as directed by Governor Northam. This is an extremely complex removal that requires coordination with multiple entities to ensure the safety of everyone involved. A date for the removal, as well as ways in which the public can view it, will be announced at a later date. Please follow the Joint Information Center on Twitter and Facebook at @VAMonument2021 for more information as it becomes available.”