The high court’s ruling came in spite of two lawsuits filed by Virginia residents who attempted to block removal of the 21-foot bronze equestrian sculpture, which shows Lee in military attire atop a 40-foot pedestal. It’s removal will mark the 64th to be toppled since the George Floyd protests began back in May 2020. The court found that ‘restrictive covenants’ in the 1887 and 1890 deeds that transferred the statue to the state no longer apply. ‘Those restrictive covenants are unenforceable as contrary to public policy and for being unreasonable because their effect is to compel government speech, by forcing the Commonwealth to express, in perpetuity, a message with which it now disagrees,’ the justices wrote. Gov. Ralph Northam announced his decision to remove the statue in June 2020, 10 days after George Floyd’s death under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer sparked protests over police brutality and racism in cities across the country, including Richmond. At least 63 monuments or plaques in cities across the country have been similarly removed since those protests began.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail