Roughly 50 or more Monument Avenue residents who live nearby the Robert E. Lee statue intend to file an amicus brief with the Virginia Supreme Court in support of Governor Ralph Northam’s plan to remove the controversial monument, a lawyer representing the group said.
Local residents organized the group called Circle Neighbors after a Richmond Circuit Court judge ruled earlier this week against three plaintiffs, who also live near the monument, seeking to block the Commonwealth from removing the statue.
A Richmond Circuit Court judge ruled in favor of the Commonwealth and Governor Ralph Northam on Tuesday, allowing for the removal of the controversial Robert E. Lee statue on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue.
In his decision, Judge W. Reilly Marchant lifted the temporary injunction, ordered by a separate judge back in August, which barred Nortam from taking action, but said the statue could not be removed until a proper appeal process has taken place.
The trial over a lawsuit aiming to stop Governor Ralph Northam from removing the statue of former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee began Monday morning in Richmond.
After the death of George Floyd, the Lee monument and other Confederate statues throughout the city became a focal point of the summer protests over racial inequality and police brutality in Richmond.
One of the last remaining city-owned Confederate statues in Richmond was vandalized recently, raising questions about how long the graffiti littered throughout downtown and other prominent areas will remain.
After a summer of civil unrest, graffiti on monuments, buildings, sidewalks and even some houses has become a normal sight for those who visit or live in the city of Richmond.
The Commonwealth will pay nearly $500,000 or more to remove and replace the Robert E. Lee statue in the U.S. Capitol. In charge of the project is the Commission for Historical Statues in the United States Capitol, created for the sole purpose of removing the Lee statue from the National Statuary Hall Collection.
The projected costs total $498,500 – funds the commission says could total more or less in the coming months. Their estimate comes from other states’ costs for similar projects.