BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Baltimore City’s Confederate monuments are no longer resting where they stood for years.
By order of Mayor Catherine Pugh, the statues were deconstructed in the dead of night Tuesday to be taken to a secure location. The removal stems from the violence and chaos that erupted in Charlottesville less than a week ago.
Mayor Pugh said she did not want to see the same level of violence that tragically occurred in Charlottesville to happen in Baltimore.
“I wanted them out of the City,” she said.
Wednesday, Pugh explained her decision to conduct a “quick and quiet” operation.
“There’s enough grandstanding, enough speeches being made. Get it done.”
Private contractors worked through the early morning to remove the Lee-Jackson Monument in Wyman Park Dell, the Taney Monument in Mount Vernon, the Confederate Women’s Monument in Bishop Park and the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Bolton Hill.
The decision also caught members of the city council off guard.
Monday, the city council unanimously voted to deconstruct the statues.
“I am happy to see them gone. I think it is of great symbolic importance to our city,” said city councilman Zeke Cohen.
A protest statue now sits on top of the pedestal where the monument of Lee and Jackson stood.
In response to where the statues are now the mayor said the following:
“They are very tall, they attempted to take them across bridges and you can’t do that so we’re in contact with the Smithsonian and others to see if we can get the moved. they are currently in a storage yard.”
In Annapolis, Gov. Larry Hogan praised the mayor for her actions.
“I thought it was a good way to handle it,” Hogan said.
The mayor said she isn’t concerned over possible backlash or lawsuits from groups wanting to keep the statues in place.