Charlottesville Council votes to remove 'Stonewall' Jackson statue

The city council in Charlottesville, Va., voted unanimously Tuesday to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from Justice Park.

The 5-0 vote came just weeks after last month’s violent protests in the city, sparked in part by city officials' plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Tuesday's vote also will expedite the relocation of the Lee statue.

WVIR reported that the vote proceeded without incident.

Councilman Bob Fenwick, who voted for the motion, said the Jackson and Lee monuments "should be in a museum."

"If people stop and think, we have no statues, that I know of, to George Washington in Charlottesville, and yet none of us have forgotten his history," Fenwick told WVIR. "So this argument that we have to keep it to preserve history, to me, is irrelevant."

Last month, the council voted to shroud the statues. That vote came at the end of a hours-long meeting packed with irate residents who screamed and cursed at councilmembers over the city's response to an Aug. 12 rally that turned violent after white nationalists opposed to the city's plan to remove a statue of Lee clashed with counter-protesters.

President Trump agreed with some in the South who say the monuments speak to America's history and heritage. But opponents of such symbols believe they glorify a shameful era of slavery.

A state law passed in 1998 forbids local governments from removing, damaging or defacing war monuments, but there is legal ambiguity about whether that applies to statues such as the Lee monument, which was erected before the law was passed.

The council initially planned to leave the Jackson statue in place but at the meeting took the first administrative steps toward having it removed as well.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.