BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After violence erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend in response to the city’s plan to remove a Robert E. Lee statue from a park there, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan says he supports removing a statue that he says glorifies “the darkest chapter of our history” from the state house.
The statue there is of Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney, who made a pro-slavery ruling in the 1857 Dred Scott Case that deemed black Americans were not to be considered citizens of the U.S.
Hogan released the following statement Tuesday:
“As I said at my inauguration, Maryland has always been a state of middle temperament, which is a guiding principle of our administration. While we cannot hide from our history – nor should we – the time has come to make clear the difference between properly acknowledging our past and glorifying the darkest chapters of our history. With that in mind, I believe removing the Justice Roger B. Taney statue from the State House grounds is the right thing to do, and we will ask the State House Trust to take that action immediately.”
A white nationalist group gathered in the central Virginia college town Saturday to protest the Lee statue removal, and others arrived to counter-protest. A car plowed into a crowd of the counter-protesters, killing one person and hurting more than a dozen others.
Shortly after, a Virginia State Police helicopter that officials said was assisting with the rally crashed outside Charlottesville, killing the pilot and a trooper.
The governor declared a state of emergency, and police dressed in riot gear ordered people out of the town.