Charlottesville Police Investigate Graffiti on Robert E. Lee Statue

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'Black Lives Matter' spray painted on the statue in Lee Park. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owen 'Black Lives Matter' spray painted on the statue in Lee Park. Photo courtesy of Jeff Owen
Cleanup of the graffiti underway Cleanup of the graffiti underway
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville police are investigating early morning vandalism at Lee Park.

Police say they received a call about graffiti on the statue of Robert E. Lee in Lee Park around 7:30 Tuesday morning. The phrase "black lives matter" was spray painted in bright green over Robert E. Lee's name.

Charlottesville police are looking for whoever is responsible for the vandalism.  

Charlottesville City Councilor Kristin Szakos says the painted message speaks volumes about concerns right now. "Vandalism is never an appropriate response I don't think, it's certainly not to this sort of thing, but I think it does indicate that there are very strong feelings around the symbols of the Confederacy,” she stated.

The police department says it will be paying extra attention to similar monuments that might attract this type of vandalism.  Just a few blocks from Lee Park is Jackson Park, named after Thomas 'Stonewall' Jackson who is also a prominent figure in confederate Civil War history. Police say they will be watching that area too.

The city's park and recreation department handled the cleanup. Crews say it took about an hour to remove the paint from the statue.

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