PHOTOS: Baltimore Operation Removed Confederate Monuments Overnight

The empty pedestal of the Jackson Lee Monument in Wyman Park is seen before dawn after workers took four Confederate monuments overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)
Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun
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BALTIMORE (AP) — Confederate monuments in Baltimore were quietly removed and hauled away on trucks in darkness early Wednesday, days after a violent white nationalist rally in Virginia that was sparked by plans to take down a similar statue there.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh told The Baltimore Sun that crews began removing the city’s four Confederate monuments late Tuesday and finished around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland near the intersection of Charles St. and University Parkway early Wednesday morning. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

“It’s done,” Pugh told the newspaper. “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could.”

Video taken by WBAL-TV shows workers using a crane to lift the towering monument to Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson onto a flatbed truck in the dark.

Pugh said Monday that she had contacted two contractors about removing the monuments, but declined to say when they would come down, saying she wanted to prevent the kind of violence seen in Charlottesville, Virginia. Pugh said at the time that she wants the statues to be placed in Confederate cemeteries elsewhere in Maryland.

A commission appointed by the previous mayor recommended removing a monument to Marylander Roger B. Taney, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to African-Americans, as well as a statue of two Virginians — the Confederate generals Lee and Jackson.

The empty pedestal of the  former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney is seen before dawn in Mount Vernon after workers took four Confederate monuments overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)
The empty pedestal of the former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney sits before dawn Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, after workers took several Confederate monuments down overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Instead, former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake put up signs calling them propaganda designed to falsify history and support racial intimidation.

Baltimore’s swift removal of the monuments comes days after what is believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade — including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members. They descended on Charlottesville for a rally prompted by the city’s decision to remove a monument to Lee.

A bystander takes a picture of the monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland after it was taken down early Wednesday morning. (Jerry Jackson/Baltimore Sun)
A bystander takes a picture of the monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland after it was taken down early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Violent clashes broke out between white nationalists and counterprotesters and a woman was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of people who were there to condemn the white nationalists.

A memorial service for 32-year-old Heather Heyer is scheduled Wednesday morning at a downtown Charlottesville theater.

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