What will Richmond do about statues? City leaders refuse interviews after monuments fall

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Three of Richmond’s statues have been pulled to the ground in the last few days and questions on whether the city will step in remain.

The Richmond City Council has already shared their support to remove all Confederate statues on Monument Avenue in July, when the council will have the authority to do so. Still, two statues have been torn down two nights in a row, leaving many to wonder why city officials aren’t doing anything to prevent this from happening and if they ever will.

On Thursday, Richmond’s top officials continued to dodge 8News’ questions.

As rioters continue to pull Richmond’s statues to the ground, some city and state leaders are condemning their actions. Councilwoman Stephanie Lynch, the city’s 5th District representative, isn’t one of them.

“I don’t think it’s my place to disagree or agree with the way it’s being done,” Lynch told 8News. “This is a movement.”

When asked if the people pulling down the statues should be prosecuted, Lynch said she doesn’t believe they should be.

“I don’t know what the city’s plan is for that. Me personally, I don’t believe that they should,” the councilwoman said. “What you’re seeing right now is years and decades worth of struggle.”

The question is among 8News’ long list for city leaders. Mayor Levar Stoney refused to answer 8News’ questions regarding the statues being torn, instead his press liaison just referred 8News to Stoney’s tweets on the matter.

“For the sake of public safety, I ask the community to allow us to legally contract to have the remaining ones removed professionally, to prevent any potential harm that could result from attempts to remove them without professional experience,” the mayor wrote in a series of tweets about the Jefferson Davis statue being toppled.

8News set out to track down Stoney and Richmond police leaders to get the questions answered, but was turned away multiple times and told he was in meetings and couldn’t speak.

Stay with 8News for updates to this developing story.

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