Officials in Charlottesville have backed removing a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson — marking another push to take down a Confederate landmark in the college town rocked by deadly clashes last month between white nationalists and counterprotesters.
But the unanimous vote late Tuesday by the Charlottesville City Council faces an uncertain path, according to the Daily Progress newspaper. The removal depends on the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the council’s power to remove another statue depicting Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee — a focal point of the marchers and opponents last month.
The council meeting was reported to be relatively mild and is the latest move of dealing with Confederate statues around the country.
The lawsuit over the Lee statue includes the Virginia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans as plaintiffs. A judge recently heard arguments in that case.
At Tuesday’s Charlottesville city council meeting, some of those in attendance criticized leaders over the August rally that left three people dead, including a protester opposing neo-Nazis and others. Two Virginia State troopers also died in a helicopter crash.
A few of those in attendance at the two-hour council hearing held signs that called for taking down Confederate statues from parks, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Others asked for some council members to resign.
A few of the council members offered apologies for the recent events, according to the Times-Dispatch.
Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer told those in attendance: “I’m pledging that I’m going to try what I can to get this right.”
He was met with some jeers from the crowd. He went on to say, “You may not believe this — but, please, help me to get better.”
On Twitter, Wes Bellamy — who serves as the vice mayor of Charlottesville — posted a message with three hand-clapping emoji along with a link to a news story about the 5-0 council vote.