Protesters in Richmond, Virginia tore down a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis during demonstrations late Wednesday night.
The bronze statue of Davis had stood in its spot on Monument Avenue since 1907, but, like other Confederate monuments, has long faced criticism, according to the Associated Press.
It was toppled in dramatic fashion, with cheering protesters reportedly tying ropes around its legs as it came crashing down.
The current protests against police brutality and racial injustice — taking place not only in Richmond, but around the world — come in response to the death of 46-year-old George Floyd.
Floyd died in police custody on May 25 after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes while three others stood by.
The officer involved, Derek Chauvin, has since been fired and charged with second-degree murder. He has not entered a plea, and will return to court on June 29. His attorney did not immediately return PEOPLE's call for comment.
The three other officers on the scene were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. They are also set to appear in court on June 29, and all four men have yet to enter pleas.
The statue of Davis is the third to fall during protests in Richmond in the past week, after a statue of Confederate Gen. Williams Carter Wickham was toppled on Saturday and one of Christopher Columbus was taken down and dumped in a lake days later.
Earlier this week, all nine members of the Richmond City Council said they would support legislation put forth by Mayor Levar Stoney to remove the four statues of Confederate figures along the historic Monument Avenue, NPR reported. All of the figures have been recently covered in graffiti.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has also announced that a controversial monument to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond would be removed as soon as possible and placed in storage. The statue is currently graffitied, but is likely too large to be toppled.
However, a Richmond judge issued a 10-day injunction on the governor’s order due to a lawsuit seeking to stop the removal. A spokeswoman for the governor said the judge's decision is under review, according to NPR.
"Gov. Northam remains committed to removing this divisive symbol from Virginia's capital city, and we're confident in his authority to do so," she said.
Following the news of the injunction, Northam tweeted out a promise that the statue will be removed, writing, "Make no mistake: it will come down.”
To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:
- Campaign Zero (joincampaignzero.org) which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.
- ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.
•National Cares Mentoring Movement (caresmentoring.org) provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.
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