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Norfolk mayor says crews will move Confederate monument, citing safety worries

Graffiti, toilet papers and eggs are seen on and around the Confederate Monument in downtown Norfolk, Va., on Sunday, May 31, 2020. Protesters sprayed paint on the monument on Saturday night protest on May 30, 2020.
Graffiti, toilet papers and eggs are seen on and around the Confederate Monument in downtown Norfolk, Va., on Sunday, May 31, 2020. Protesters sprayed paint on the monument on Saturday night protest on May 30, 2020. ((The N. Pham/The Virginian-Pilot via AP))

NORFOLK, Va. – The mayor of Norfolk has announced that out of concern for public safety, crews will relocate a statue that sits atop a tall Confederate monument in the city’s downtown.

The move comes a day after a man in his 30s suffered life-threatening injuries when protesters toppled a statue in nearby Portsmouth.

Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander cited the man’s injuries and said the statue would be moved to a historic cemetery.

City leaders have wanted to move it for years but a state law prohibited doing so. That law was amended earlier this year. The new version doesn’t take effect until July 1, but Alexander said public safety trumps waiting.