Baltimore took quick action after showing its hand, removing Confederate statues across the city in the early-morning hours of Wednesday, just one day after voting on the issue.
A lot of areas could take notes from Baltimore: No sitting around twiddling thumbs, waiting on God knows what. The city voted for the loser trophies to come down, and they came down.
But I digress.
According to the New York Times, shortly after midnight Wednesday, a crew armed with a large crane, along with a group of police officers, began going around the city’s parks and public squares, tearing the statues from their pedestals one by one (in what must have been a glorious sight to see) and removing them from view.
As the site notes, Baynard Woods, the editor at large of the Baltimore City Paper, gave a play-by-play about the removal of the four statues on Twitter, describing the mood as “celebratory”as small crowds gathered to watch the process.
“The police are being cheerful and encouraging people to take photos and selfies,” Woods told the Times.
Just Monday, the Baltimore City Council voted to remove the monuments, with Mayor Catherine Pugh pushing forth the order that they be taken down.
The statues removed included the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument, a joint statue showing the Confederate generals on their horses, which was erected in 1948; the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, which went up in 1903; and the Confederate Women’s Monument, which was dedicated in 1917.
A monument dedicated to Roger B. Taney—a Supreme Court chief justice who wrote the landmark 1857 decision in the Dred Scott case that declared that even free blacks had no claim to citizenship—was also torn down. As the Times notes, Taney was never a part of the Confederacy, but the decision he wrote was cheered on by those who supported slavery.
Police cars escorted the statues out of town, and what will happen to them next is still being decided. Pugh suggested on Monday that the statues could be relocated to Confederate cemeteries. However, Councilman Brandon M. Scott argued at a meeting Monday that they should be destroyed.
“These people were terrorists. They were traitors. Why are we honoring them?” he said.
Read more at the New York Times.