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Judge orders removal of confederate statue

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:37 PM EDT
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SALEM, Va. (WDBJ) - A circuit court judge has ordered the removal of a confederate statue that stands near the Roanoke County Courthouse.

Judge Charles Dorsey entered the order July 8, calling for the memorial to be removed by the end of the year.

The court certified “the continued presence of the confederate monument in its present location ... and with its present content, obstructs the proper administration of justice.”

The statue honoring confederate soldiers stands in front of the old Roanoke County courthouse, now an academic building on the Roanoke College campus. But the monument and the land underneath it belongs to Roanoke County.

Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jason Peters said county leaders will not make a quick decision.

“This is a monument that is owned by Roanoke County citizens,” Peters told WDBJ7 Tuesday morning. “And I think we’re going to want their input, because again we represent all 94,000 people in Roanoke County. So we’re looking forward to that conversation with our public, and getting direction from them as well.”

State law, amended in 2020, allows local governments to remove, relocate or contextualize monuments, reframing their presentation to the public.

Peters said Roanoke County has made no decision to do any of that.

But he said he’s hopeful the board can resolve the issue by the end of this year or early next year.

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