Confederate monuments removed at State Capitol will be maintained, safely stored until permanent location is determined

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Confederate monuments removed at State Capitol will be maintained and stored in a safe space until a permanent location is determined, a spokesperson for Gov. Cooper’s office told CBS 17.

The Historical Commission will have to approve any permanent relocation, or alteration of the monuments under North Carolina law, which the legislature classified as an “object of remembrance.”

Cooper ordered the removal of Confederate monuments on Capitol grounds Saturday.

The three monuments that are being moved were direct tributes to the cause of the Confederacy, which Cooper has said North Carolina should not be honored in places of allegiance.

“I have ordered the Confederate monuments on the Capitol grounds be moved to protect public safety. I am concerned about the dangerous efforts to pull down and carry off large, heavy statues and the strong potential for violent clashes at the site. If the legislature had repealed their 2015 law that puts up legal roadblocks to removal we could have avoided the dangerous incidents of last night,” said Cooper.

“Monuments to white supremacy don’t belong in places of allegiance, and it’s past time that these painful memorials be moved in a legal, safe way,” Cooper added.

Crews removed the remainder of the North Carolina Confederate monument, a statue to the Women of the Confederacy, and the figure of Henry Lawson Wyatt, the first North Carolinian killed in battle in the Civil War.

A lone statue remains at the main Confederate monument where two smaller statues were pulled down by crowds Friday night.

People gathered and cheered when the statues came down Friday night and as the statues were driven away. 

During the initial unsuccessful attempt to pull down two of the statues at the monument, several officers were injured, according to officials.

People supporting the removal of the Confederate monuments on the State Capitol grounds returned to the area Monday afternoon as some state lawmakers blasted the handling of the situation over the weekend.

“We’re lucky no one was killed or seriously injured in what happened. And, the governor does have the responsibility of upholding the laws of the state, which means protecting state property and also protecting life. And, there was a complete failure of that on Friday,” said House Speaker Tim Moore (R).

Moore also said he’s “reassessing” whether to move forward with a bill that would spend $4 million to put signs on the Capitol grounds to provide context for monuments as well as help pay for a new park to commemorate African-Americans in North Carolina.

“We need to make sure that what we’re doing is going to work hand-in-glove with what’s happening with the State Historical Commission. And, what we don’t want to do is go out and spend taxpayer dollars and build something new that’s going to get destroyed,” Moore said, adding he thinks the bill should wait until next year.

Removal of the statues is still ongoing and the final costs have not yet been calculated.

The Department of Transportation oversaw the removal of the statues, a spokesperson says.

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