CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The man accused of removing Charlottesville’s plaque designating the site of a slave auction block needs more time to hire a lawyer.
Richard H. Allan III appeared in Charlottesville General District Court Thursday, February 13. Police had arrested the 74-year-old earlier in the week at his Albemarle County studio, charging him with grand larceny and possession of “burglarious” tools. The slave auction marker on East Jefferson Street was reported missing early Thursday, February 6.
While surrounded by supporters outside of court, Allan said he did not regret what he did.
“In removing a plaque under foot - that was not in the historically-accurate location of the slave block - I felt I was engaging in a public good,” he said.
“I really do appreciate what he did on my behalf, because like he says, he knows that he can use his privilege to do something about it as far as standing up for other people who can’t stand up for themselves,” activist Rosia Parker said. “I don’t feel that we should be stepped on anymore, we’ve been stepped on for over 400 years.”
Thursday’s hearing was continued to March 12. Allan spoke to NBC29 outside the courtroom, and said he hopes Charlottesville decides to make a new memorial in Court Square. In an interview with the C-VILLE Weekly, Allan implied that he had dropped the city’s plaque into the James River.
“I definitely want to apologize to everyone in our town if in anyway I have hurt the feelings, embarrassed anyone. That was not my intent. My intent was to stand up particularly for descendants of enslaved people,” Allan said.
Allan said he and others have made multiple attempts over the years to have the city move the marker, which was in the sidewalk across from Albemarle Circuit Court.
The Charlottesville Police Department asks anyone with information related to this case to contact Detective A. Blank at (434) 970-3280 or Crime Stoppers at (434) 977-4000. A reward of up to $1,000 is available through Crime Stoppers for additional information.