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North Carolina city removes Confederate statue from uptown

October 16, 2020 GMT

LEXINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina city removed a Confederate statue on Friday, barely 24 hours after a judge dissolved a restraining order preventing the move.

The statue was moved from its site in uptown Lexington in the early morning because city officials wanted to prevent any potential interference with the statue’s move outside city limits, The Dispatch of Lexington reported.

In August, the city of Lexington filed a lawsuit against Davidson County and the Robert E. Lee Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy to authorize permanent removal of the Confederate statue. On Sept. 26, the city filed an amendment to its lawsuit asking to temporarily remove the statue, due to potential risk to the public surrounding protests and counter-protests, and store it until the outcome of a court case is determined.

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On Thursday, a Superior Court judge dissolved a temporary restraining order filed last week by Davidson County against the city.

LaQuisha Johnson, a frequent protester at the Old Davidson County Courthouse, told The Dispatch she was very excited and a little emotional about seeing the empty spot where the monument formerly stood.

“It’s amazing; it took a long time, but we did it,” Johnson said. “I know it is going to bring out some negativity, but at the same time, it is going to bring some unity.”

Supporters of the Confederate monument voiced their disappointment on social media. Others targeted the city of Lexington, protesters, the Daughters of the Confederacy and even local businesses, suggesting political motivations behind the move and proposing retaliation.

Earlier this month, the owners of the statue, the Robert E. Lee Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy No. 324, signed a settlement agreement with the city of Lexington to move the monument from its current location to an alternative location outside of the city limits.