Confederate statues were quietly removed overnight in Baltimore following a year-long debate over Mayor Catherine Pugh's pledge to get rid of them.
Four statues linked to the Confederacy were removed. The Baltimore City Council had passed a resolution to remove them following the violence in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend that left one dead and more than a dozen injured at the hands of a white nationalist.
"It's done," Pugh said Wednesday morning. "They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could."
The crews began removing the statues from their bases at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, and finished at 5:30 a.m. early Wednesday.
Pugh said she "personally" watched their removal.
The Robert E. Lee & "Stonewall" Jackson Monument at Wyman Park Dell near Johns Hopkins University was torn down as the sun came up.
Other statues removed included the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue, the Confederate Women's Monument on West University Parkway, and the Roger B. Taney Monument on Mount Vernon Place, the Baltimore Sun reported.
Baltimore's statue of Roger Taney - author of the 1857 Dred Scott decision that denied citizenship to black people - was removed overnight. pic.twitter.com/Qg7WbUK5K1— Talia Richman (@TaliRichman) August 16, 2017
For those just waking up, here's what happened in Baltimore: the city's dead-of-night removal of all four of its Confederate monuments. pic.twitter.com/gaquP2hlqN— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) August 16, 2017
Gov. Larry Hogan on Tuesday called for the removal of the statue of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney from the grounds of the State House in Annapolis. He was the former Supreme Court justice who wrote the infamous Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and denied black Americans citizenship in 1857.
The violence in Charlottesville stemming from the planned white supremacist rallies has given new momentum to nationwide efforts to remove monuments and statues dedicated to figures from the Confederacy.
On Tuesday, President Trump asked if efforts to remove statues of generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson meant statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson should also be removed because they were slave owners.
"So this week it's Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson's coming down," he told reporters. "I wonder: Is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you really do have to ask yourself — where does it stop?"
In North Carolina, there are more than 230 Civil War memorials. Protesters toppled the statue of a young Confederate soldier outside the former courthouse in Durham Monday night.