Rocky Mount approves removal of Confederate monument

Confederate soldiers monument at Battle Park in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Credit Richard Phillips / North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources

ROCKY MOUNT — The North Carolina city of Rocky Mount has approved the removal of a Confederate statue that has stood for more than a century.

CBS 17 reports that the Rocky Mount City Council approved the removal on Monday night. The statue has stood at the edge of a park since 1917.

The vote follows several days of protests in North Carolina and across the country against racism and police brutality. The demonstrations were sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis.

Since Floyd’s death, Virginia’s governor has ordered the removal of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the city of Richmond. The city’s mayor has also announced plans to remove other Confederate monuments from the city.

A city spokesperson for Rocky Mount said one council member voted against the removal because he wants clarity on the legal ramifications. But all other council members voted yes.

The majority of people who showed up at the council meeting voiced support for the statue’s removal.

“The monument is a testament to white supremacy and it doesn’t need to be in our city,” said resident Cooper Blackwell.