BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After crews removed Baltimore’s confederate statues from their pedestals overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, they are now sitting under tarps in a city-owned lot.
Mayor Catherine Pugh has said she would like for them to end up in one of Maryland’s confederate cemeteries, and explained at a Wednesday morning press conference that she was unsure of their whereabouts after they were taken down.
As it turns out, they are under police protection somewhere in Baltimore. WJZ’s Sky Eye Chopper 13 got aerial footage of them Thursday. You can watch that above.
Crews removed four monuments: the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue, the Confederate Women’s Monument on West University Parkway, the Roger B. Taney Monument on Mount Vernon Place and the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell.
On Monday night, the Baltimore City Council passed a resolution calling for the immediate deconstruction of these monuments, days after a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that drew white nationalists and counter-protesters turned violent.
“Unite the Right” organizers said one of the reasons behind the event was the city’s plan to remove a Robert E. Lee monument from a park there.
One woman died and several were injured when a car was plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters. Shortly after, a Virginia State Police helicopter that officials said was assisting with the rally crashed outside Charlottesville, killing the pilot and a trooper.
WJZ was on the scene for the monument removals in Baltimore, which Mayor Catherine Pugh said began late Tuesday night and finished around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.
President Donald Trump chimed in on the debate Thursday.
“These monuments were never a pure or a true history. They’re one representation,” said professor Anne Rubin, who is a Civil War historian and professor at UMBC. “It’s a statement of community values, I think, to remove the statue from the landscape to say this is no longer, if it ever even was, who we are as a population.”
Thursday, work from a local artist that replaced where the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument once stood in the Wyman Dell was smashed by a suspect who fled in a car, according to Baltimore police.
“I walked up the street, just completely in shock and sadness,” Kate Guntermann said.
“Unfortunately, whoever did it, hasn’t the faintest idea why what they did is wrong,” Ralph Scott said.
“This is our history, as ugly as it is,” Susan Badder said.
“These are not history. These are propaganda,” Andy Hinz said.
Profesor Rubin said sins of the past should be documented in history books not bronze.
“Rather than rely on statues, rely on teaching, rely on public events, rely on other forms of public memory,” she said.
Mayor Pugh said the removed confederate statues will stay right where they are until a decision is made on where they go next.
The mayor also said there has been interest from at least one university and Maryland’s Confederate cemeteries.