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Charlottesville Judge Rules Confederate Statue Shrouds Remain

Posted: Updated: Oct 05, 2017 01:45 PM
A tarp covers the Lee statue in Emancipation Park (FILE IMAGE) A tarp covers the Lee statue in Emancipation Park (FILE IMAGE)
A tarp covers the Jackson stature in Justice Park (FILE IMAGE) A tarp covers the Jackson stature in Justice Park (FILE IMAGE)
Charles Webber Charles Webber
Craig Brown Craig Brown
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

A judge has ruled the black shrouds covering the statues of Robert E. Lee and Thomas Johnathan “Stonewall” Jackson in downtown Charlottesville will remain.

The statues were covered with black tarps after City Council voted unanimously on August 21 to place "shrouds" as a way for Charlottesville to mourn the loss of Heather Heyer and Virginia State Police Lieutenant Cullen and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates. All three died on Saturday, August 12.

Judge Richard Moore handed down his decisions in Charlottesville Circuit Court Wednesday, October 4. He also issued a temporary injunction to protect the Jackson statue from removal just like the Lee statue. Both injunctions expire on November 2.

"He said he had concerns about it. We raised significant concerns, and he said at this time he's not ordering it," said plaintiff and attorney Charles Webber.

"It's a very complex procedural posture so we're going to draft the orders as directed by the judge and move ahead from here," City Attorney Craig Brown said.

Lawyers involved in the statue removal lawsuit were in court late into the evening on Wednesday.

The plaintiffs do not want the statues of the Confederate generals to be removed. They also claimed that the tarps over the statues could harm the metal and stone.

The plaintiffs had filed their lawsuit against the city back on March 20 as a way to stop Charlottesville City Council's plan to have the Lee statue removed. The lawsuit claimed that councilors had acted beyond their authority and violated a state law that prohibits removing monuments or memorials to war veterans.

Councilors unanimously voted on September 5 to remove the Jackson statue as well.

Judge Moore stated that Virginia code does apply to Confederate statues, but that the plaintiffs’ complaint does not have sufficient facts to make case that the Lee statue is a war memorial.

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