NORFOLK (AP) The Norfolk commonwealth’s attorney says the city can remove a Confederate monument, despite a state law that bars the removal of war memorials.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Gregory Underwood filed court documents Oct. 22 seeking to dismiss a city lawsuit that says the state law infringes on its right to free speech, news outlets reported. Underwood said that he and state Attorney General Mark Herring don’t believe the law applies to the city’s 80-foot Confederate monument of a solider nicknamed “Johnny Reb.”
The 1904 law initially applied to counties and was expanded in 1997. However, the city’s bronze monument was erected in 1907. In 2017, Herring issued an opinion that said the law didn’t apply retroactively to statues erected before the law’s expansion.
It’s unclear when the statue will be moved.