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Robert E. Lee Statue vandalized ahead of KKK rally in Charlottesville

Statue was tagged with grafitti reading "Native Land"

WVIR
WVIR

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR)

The statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville's Emancipation Park was vandalized sometime overnight between Friday and Saturday.

The statue was tagged with graffiti that read "Native Land," and covered in red paint. Crews removed the vandalism from the statue Saturday morning.

Charlottesville police say they have they have 12 hours of surveillance footage to review in this case. The department posted two cameras, one in Emancipation Park and one in Justice Park, for use as an investigative tool should any crimes occur in the parks ahead of the white activist rallies scheduled for the summer.

The vandalism comes just hours before a scheduled rally by the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in Justice Park, which has a statue to Confederate General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson.

The North Carolina-based group is protesting the city council's decision to remove the statue of Lee from the park.

A counter protest is also expected at both parks, and other events are scheduled throughout the day to unite the people who live in and around Charlottesville.

Charlottesville Police Chief Al Thomas is urging people who oppose the KKK to stay away from the rally in Justice Park.