Charlottesville mayor calls for removal of Lee statue, limits to - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Charlottesville mayor calls for removal of Lee statue, limits to open carry

Source: WVIR Source: WVIR
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) -

Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer has called for the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in Emancipation Park following the protests over the weekend that led to three deaths and multiple injuries.

Mourners are still covering Water Street in Charlottesville with flowers, prayers, and signs of well wishes. 

"When I first came, I just stared," said Tiffany Davie, who calls Charlottesville home. This is Davie's first time at the emotional site.  "I was emotionally drained for a couple of days honestly," she said. 

Just down the street, the Wall of Free Speech has turned into a memorial for Heyer, the only person to lose her life in the violence.  More than 30 people were injured in the crash and during the protests.

Another mural honors Heyer and the two troopers who also lost their lives on Saturday.

Now, with the nation watching what's happening in this small town, mayor Signer is asking for changes.

He was going to talk to reporters, but at the last minute, he canceled his press conference, telling the media that what he has to say would be better said in a statement

The statement calls for the governor to convene an emergency meeting with the General Assembly."With the terrorist attack, these monuments were transformed from equestrian statues into lightning rods. We can, and we must, respond by denying the Nazis and the KKK and the so-called alt-right the twisted totem they seek," said Signer.

Mayor Signer is also asking for legislation to allow localities to ban the open or the concealed carry of weapons at public events if there is a reasonable, public security threat. 

"Just as machine guns cannot be owned by civilians in this country (a restriction supported by the National Rifle Association), it should not be acceptable to open-carry or concealed-carry firearms at an event of the sort we saw last weekend...the danger is too great of a catastrophic incident," said Signer.

Signer also wants to create a memorial for Heather Heyer, the woman killed during an attack on counter-protesters on Saturday. He says Emancipation Park could be the site for it. But for now, the community is taking it upon themselves to make sure nobody forgets her name.

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