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A Virginia judge has ruled that the last remaining Confederate statue of A.P. Hill within the city of Richmond can be removed by city officials.
Judge David Eugene Cheek Sr. ruled on Tuesday that the fate of the last city-owned Confederate statue would be determined by Richmond city officials.
“The Court finds that the City is within its rights to determine the final placement of the A.P. Hill monument. The Court does not seek to inform the City of any final disposition of the monument site; nor does it believe that the Court has the power to do so,” Cheek wrote in an Oct. 25 opinion letter. “Rather, the placement and housing of the monument are the City’s to determine.”
— Dean Mirshahi (@DeanMirshahi) October 25, 2022
Four “collateral descendants”, people with a common ancestor but who do not descend directly from A.P. Hill, filed a lawsuit against the city and went to court in September. The descendants argued that the statue is a public cemetery and grave marker since the remains of Hill are buried beneath, giving them the authority to decide where it should be moved and not the city.
The descendants and city both agreed to move the remains of A.P. Hill from the middle of an intersection to Fairview Cemetery in Culpepper near where he was born.
As Confederate Statues Come Down, Statues Of Black Heroes Go Up
The A.P. Hill statue is the last remaining Confederate statue within the city of Richmond since they were removed after the summer protests of 2020.
Many of the removed statues were given to the Black History Museum in Virginia to determine the next steps.
“We are still in the process of determining what the next steps will be. We want to involve the community to help in that process,” Andrea Wright, a spokesperson for the museum told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The museum launched a survey asking the public for input on the monuments on its website.
Last year a 21-foot bronze statue of disgraced Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from city grounds.
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said “It represents more than 400 years of history that we should not be proud of.”
Virginia officials debuted a new monument two weeks later called The Emancipation and Freedom Monument representing a man, woman, and baby newly freed from slavery.
Today the Emancipation and Freedom Monument was unveiled in Richmond, Virginia just miles from where the Robert E. Lee monument was removed a few weeks ago. Hell yeah! Read more here. https://t.co/BcEgmj34wt pic.twitter.com/UW4zHQNw2e
— Kate ???? (@ImSpeaking13) September 23, 2021
The descendants of A.P. Hill have 30 days to file an appeal on the statue’s removal. The Confederate statue won’t be removed before that period expires.