RALEIGH, N.C. — Crews have removed two Confederate statues outside the North Carolina state capitol in Raleigh on order of the governor.
The statues were taken away on Saturday, the morning after protesters toppled two nearby statues.
Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, who has long advocated removing the statues, said in a press release that removing the statues was a public-safety imperative.
“If the legislature had repealed their 2015 law that puts up legal roadblocks to removal, we could have avoided the dangerous incidents of last night,” Cooper said.
One of the statues is dedicated to the women of the Confederacy. The other was placed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy honoring Henry Wyatt, the first North Carolinian killed in battle in the Civil War.
Both statues stood for over a century.
A 2015 law bars removal of the memorials without permission of a state historical commission. But Cooper said the law creates an exception for public-safety emergencies, and he is acting under that provision.
Statues toppled throughout US in protests against racism
Demonstrators have defaced and toppled statues and busts of former U.S. presidents, a Spanish missionary and Confederate figures as protests against police brutality and racism continued across the country.
In San Francisco, the demonstrators tore down the representations of Ulysses Grant, the missionary Junipero Serra and Francis Scott Key, who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner."
The scene was repeated in Washington, D.C., and elsewhere.
In Seattle, pre-dawn violence erupted Saturday in a park in a protest zone largely that has been abandoned by police.
One person was fatally shot and another critically injured. The suspect or suspects were at large.