RICHMOND, Va. — Stoney prevailed over Stonewall in Richmond on Wednesday.
Mayor Levar Stoney, using his emergency powers, ordered the removal of the Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson statue from Monument Avenue, WTVR reported.
Workers toiled through a thunderstorm to remove the statue of the Confederate general from its pedestal as hundreds of people watched, the television station reported.
The dismantling of the statue took about 3 1/2 hours.
In a statement, Stoney said he was using his emergency powers for the immediate removal of “multiple monuments in the city, including Confederate statues.”
“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to surge, and protesters attempt to take down Confederate statues themselves or confront others who are doing so, the risk grows for serious illness, injury, or death,” Stoney said.
The mayor was going against the advice from Richmond’s city attorney, and gave the order several hours after the City Council delayed a vote on removing the Jackson statues and three others owned by the city, The Washington Post reported. A fifth statue is owned by the state, the newspaper reported.
Once the statue was removed from its pedestal, it was loaded onto a flatbed truck and taken to an “undisclosed location,” a worker at the scene told WRIC.
The Republican Party of Virginia said a news release that Stoney did not have the legal authority to remove the statue and called the Democratic mayor’s action a “stunt” that fuels the flames of the violent and chaotic protests.”
“Richmond is no longer run by the rule of law -- it has devolved into anarchy,” Jack Wilson, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, said in the release. “The loudest group of protesters or rioters are in control at any given moment. Caving to mob rule tells the mob that their violence and looting is the way to make change and that law and order is irrelevant.”