N.C. Governor Cooper orders removal of 2 Confederate statues

Henry Lawson Wyatt statue
Posted at 3:53 PM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 15:53:56-04

RALEIGH, N.C. — Crews have removed two Confederate statues outside the North Carolina state capitol in Raleigh on order of the governor.

The statues were taken away on Saturday, the morning after protesters toppled two nearby statues.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has long advocated removing the statues, said in a press release that removing the statues was a public-safety imperative.

“If the legislature had repealed their 2015 law that puts up legal roadblocks to removal, we could have avoided the dangerous incidents of last night,” Cooper said.

One of the statues is dedicated to the women of the Confederacy. The other was placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy honoring Henry Wyatt, the first North Carolinian killed in battle in the Civil War.

Both statues stood for over a century.

A 2015 law bars removal of the memorials without permission of a state historical commission. But Cooper said the law creates an exception for public-safety emergencies, and he is acting under that provision.