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Confederate Statue Near Site of Infamous Rally Removed

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A Charlottesville, Virginia, Confederate statue located near the site of a 2017 rally that resulted in the death of a counter-protester was removed Saturday.

The statue, erected in 1909, depicts a Confederate soldier and stood outside the county courthouse, according to CNN.

The Albemarle County Board of Supervisors voted to remove the statue on Aug. 6 following a public hearing, according to a county news release.

Albemarle County livestreamed the removal of the statue, which began at 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

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Charlottesville attracted national attention when its City Council voted in 2017 to remove statues of Confederate Gens. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

Hundreds of demonstrators protested the removal of the statues during a rally in August 2017. The event turned violent when a crowd of counter-protesters arrived.

During the demonstration, James Fields Jr. drove his vehicle through a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one. Fields pleaded guilty to 29 federal charges and received a life sentence in June 2019.

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A Virginia judge ruled in September 2019 that the city’s proposed removal of the Jackson and Lee statues violated state law, according to WTOP.

However, following the death of George Floyd, the Virginia General Assembly passed legislation that allowed local officials to remove statues.

The Saturday statue removal is the state’s first following the amended law, the news release said. The statue will be donated to the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation.

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