10:12 AM PDT, July 10, 2021
The controversial statues, which memorialized leaders of the pro-slavery Confederate side in the American Civil War, have stirred controversy for several years.
In 2017, plans to remove the Robert E. Lee statue led to white supremacists protesting and rallying. The protest turned deadly when a neo-Nazi drove a car into the crowd and killed Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old counter-protestor.
Afterward, there was a unanimous decision by the Charlottesville city council to remove the statue.
As the statues were lowered and driven away, onlookers in the crowd cheered.
As of right now, there is no word on what the city will do to the statues. Until a decision is made, they will be kept in storage.
“An indication of how we feel about this is, we’re inviting the public to join us in the park.” city spokesman Brian Wheeler said when asked if they were aware of any forthcoming protests.
“We think a lot of our community members really want to be there to see this happen,” he added.