NEW ORLEANS (AP) – New Orleans will begin taking down Confederate statutes, becoming the latest Southern body to divorce itself from what some say are symbols of racism and intolerance.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu says the first memorial will come down Monday night because of death threats and intimidation from some of those who want the monuments to stay and to minimize city disruption.
The other statues, of Confederate Generals Robert E. Lee and P.G.T. Beauregard and Confederate States of America President Jefferson Davis, will come down in following days.
Nationally, the debate over Confederate symbols has become heated since nine parishioners were killed at a black church in South Carolina in June 2015. South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its statehouse grounds in the weeks after, and several Southern cities have since considered removing monuments.