City of Charlottesville shrouds Confederate statues in memory of slain protester
Mark Wilson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The city of Charlottesville covered two Confederate statues with giant black veils on Wednesday in remembrance of 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer, who was killed at a rally of white nationalists and neo-Nazis earlier this month.
The Charlottesville city council voted unanimously to cover the statues in a contentious meeting on Monday at which angry protesters expressed outrage over the deadly violence that broke out at the Aug. 12 rally. Violence at the rally resulted in one death and over a dozen people injured and has sparked an intense national debate about public symbols of the Confederacy.
Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy said the council’s decision came after “listening to the community about their intense need to be heard as well as their desire to make amends.
“We want to be able to mourn as a city … We are truly in a state of mourning,” he said.
Bellamy said “there are some things that as a city we could have done differently” in response to the rally.
Workers in Charlottesville covered the statue of Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park today that was the central focus of the Aug. 12 rally, where demonstrators gathered to protest the statue’s removal. A statue of Stonewall Jackson in another city park was also covered in a large black drape on Wednesday.
Heyer was killed when James Alex Fields Jr. smashed the car he was driving into a crowd of counter-protesters at the rally, according to police. Fields has been charged with second-degree murder.
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