Rebel statues removed ‘quietly’: Crews worked through the night

Published 8:36 am Thursday, August 17, 2017

BALTIMORE  — Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh has a few words of advice for leaders in other cities who might want to get rid of Confederate monuments: “Do it quietly and quickly.”

On Tuesday Pugh ordered four statues in Baltimore removed under the cover of night. In the morning, city residents awoke to empty marble plinths.

Crews began removing the city’s Confederate monuments late Tuesday and finished at about 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. The city also removed a statue of Marylander Roger B. Taney, the U.S. Supreme Court justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to African Americans.

Email newsletter signup

Pugh made the decision Tuesday morning to remove the monuments that night in order to avoid attention. “It was important that we move quickly and quietly,” Pugh said.

Elliott Cummings, a member of the Maryland Sons of Confederate Veterans, denounced Pugh’s “barbarism and Taliban-esque actions” in tearing down the statues. “I’m angry and very sad at the same time.”

John Coleman, public information officer for the Maryland Historical Trust, said in a statement that while “the formal process of removing the monuments was not followed, due to the rapidly evolving circumstances MHT will work with the city on the relocation, restoration or preservation, etc., decided in accordance with the current easements.”

Pugh said any city with these statues has concerns about violence occurring.