New lawsuit opposes plans to remove Lee statue in Richmond

APTOPIX America Protests Confederate Monuments
Posted at 6:56 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-15 18:56:45-04

RICHMOND, Va. — Six property owners in Virginia's capital city of Richmond have filed a lawsuit seeking to stop Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration from removing a towering statue there to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

The lawsuit challenges Northam’s authority to order removal of the Lee statue from Monument Avenue in the ex-capital of the Confederacy. Northam's spokeswoman says the governor considers the statue a “divisive symbol.”

The governor recently ordered its removal, citing the pain gripping the country over the death in police custody of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis. Richmond’s Confederate monuments became rallying points for protesters in recent days.

The complaint says the plaintiffs would suffer injury over “the loss of a priceless work of art from their neighborhood and the degradation of the internationally recognized avenue on which they reside.”