Virginia GOP Senate leaders say governor is wrong to remove Lee statue

Virginia GOP Senate leaders say governor is wrong to remove Lee statue
Senate Republican leaders say Governor Northam is wrong to have the Richmond statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee removed from Monument Avenue. (Source: Associated Press)

RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ7) - Senate Republican leaders say Governor Northam is wrong to have the Richmond statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee removed from Monument Avenue.

In a joint statement, members of the GOP said, “Like all Virginians, we were outraged and deeply saddened by the murder of George Floyd. His brutal and senseless death has shocked the entire nation. We renew our commitment to ensuring our criminal justice is system is fair to all, providing protections to everyone from the unnecessary use of force which ended Mr. Floyd’s life."

The announcement to remove the statue came in the wake of protests and rioting across the country after the murder of a suspect in police custody in Minnesota. Four police officers are charged.

The GOP statement continues, “The Governor’s decision to remove the Lee statue from Monument Avenue is not in the best interests of Virginia. Attempts to eradicate instead of contextualizing history invariably fail. And because of this Governor’s personal history, the motivations of this decision will always be suspect. Like Senator Chase’s idiotic, inappropriate and inflammatory response, his decision is more likely to further divide, not unite, Virginians."

“We remain committed to a Virginia that offers opportunity for all, one where racism and bigotry are not tolerated. We stand ready to work on behalf of all Virginians in achieving that ideal.”

The statement was signed by Senate Republican Leader Thomas K. Norment, Jr. (R-James City), Caucus Chairman Ryan T. McDougle (R-Hanover), Caucus Co-Chairman Mark D. Obenshain (R-Rockingham), Caucus Whips William M. Stanley, Jr. (R-Franklin) and Bryce E. Reeves (R-Spotsylvania), and Republican Leader Pro-Tempore Stephen D. Newman (R-Bedford).

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