DALLAS, TX — Quietly and without fanfare Thursday, officials in Dallas removed a statue of Robert E. Lee from its pedestal in a Dallas park named for the Confederate general. Officials didn’t announce the removal of the monument, but it was expected after the Dallas City Council voted earlier this month to bring it down.
Police sharpshooters with automatic rifles were on hand to provide security, which wasn’t needed. The monument was removed almost a month to the day of a violent protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a counter protester was run over and killed by a suspected white supremacist who was protesting the planned removal of confederate monuments there on Aug. 12.
Throughout the South, debate has raged over Confederate relics, which defenders say document the history of the Civil War, but critics decry as symbols of oppression and slavery. (For more news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, sign up for real-time news alerts and free morning newsletters from Dallas Patch. If you live in another area of Texas, find your local Patch here. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app.)
Dallas officials were met with resistance after a 13-1 city council vote earlier this month to remove the 81-year-old statue of Lee on horseback with an unnamed soldier, which Mayor Mike Rawlings said was a “symbol of injustice” and a “dangerous totem” that creates division.
The statue was scheduled to be taken down earlier, but a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order halting its removal on Sept. 6, but then dismissed the Sons of Confederate Veterans lawsuit, allowing officials to move forward with their plan to remove it from public property.
The statue will be stored at an abandoned air base on the west side of Dallas until city officials can decide what to do with the monument, the Star-Telegram reported.
Photo: Workers prepare for the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee at a public park in Dallas, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. The Dallas City Council voted to remove the statue, but a last-minute court order blocked the removal as work crews were prepared to take down the monument. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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