The Latest: Columbus statue in St. Louis park taken down


North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper delivers a briefing on North Carolina’s coronavirus pandemic response Monday, June 15, 2020, at the N.C. Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh, N.C. (Casey Toth/The News & Observer via AP)

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— Columbus statue in St. Louis park taken down.

— West Virginia county to consider removing Stonewall Jackson statue.

— Maryland panel votes to remove Civil War plaque from Capitol.

— Man shot as protesters in New Mexico try to tear down statue.


O’FALLON, Mo. — A statue of Christopher Columbus that stood in a St. Louis park for 134 years was removed Tuesday amid a growing national outcry against monuments to the 15th-century explorer.

The commissioners who oversee Tower Grove Park recently voted to remove the statue. It was loaded onto a truck Tuesday, but it wasn’t clear what will become of it. Park officials didn’t immediately reply to a phone message seeking comment.

Several Columbus statues have been targeted during the widespread protests over the death of George Floyd and racial inequality. Floyd, who was black and handcuffed, died May 25 after a white Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

A Columbus statue in Richmond, Virginia, was toppled last week. Seven people were arrested for vandalizing a statue of the explorer in Miami. And a statue of Columbus in Boston was beheaded.

In a statement on Tower Grove Park’s Facebook page, the park board said the statue was originally placed in the park to celebrate the contributions of immigrants to the St. Louis region.

“But now, for many, it symbolizes a historical disregard for indigenous peoples and cultures and destruction of their communities,” it said.


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Commissioners in the West Virginia county where Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson was born are set to discuss a request to remove his statue.

The Harrison County Commission meets Wednesday and will discuss a community member’s request to remove the statue from the courthouse plaza in Clarksburg, news outlets reported.

Stonewall Jackson was born in Clarksburg in 1824 and the United Daughters of Confederacy built the statue of him in 1953.

“I know there’s a lot of people that are concerned over why it’s on the agenda,” Commissioner David Hinkle said. “As a governing body, when people make requests, we have to take a look at it.”

Hinkle said he wants to get public input before making a decision.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Nine people were arrested during protests on Monday night in Louisville.

One person was arrested in connection with vandalism to a police vehicle and eight others were charged with unlawful assembly. No arrests were made in connection to the damage to a news vehicle, police said.

Some demonstrators in Louisville blocked traffic and threw a brick into a news station’s car while police deployed pepper balls, the city’s interim police chief said in a joint news conference with the city’s mayor on Monday night.

The statements from Chief Robert Schroeder came after police warned residents to avoid the city’s downtown area, and after a video posted on social media showed a brick hurled into the window of a WLKY-TV camera crew’s car.


BALTIMORE — The city council has approved more than $22 million in cuts to the Baltimore Police Department’s $550 million budget for 2021.

The council voted 13-2 on Monday to approve a $3 billion operating budget.

The proposal now heads to the mayor’s office, where Bernard Young is likely to block it, The Baltimore Sun reported.

Baltimore’s charter gives the mayor control of spending in the budget process and the city council can only identify cuts. Young is the outgoing mayor, while city council president Brandon Scott is the Democratic nominee to become mayor in November.

Those proposed cuts by the city council include about $7 million in police overtime pay across five different departments, the police marine unit would be disbanded to save a total of about $2 million and the department’s mounted unit would also be dissolved, freeing up about $550,000, The Baltimore Sun reported. Other cuts are to “unallocated” funds.

Patrol officers and detectives wouldn’t be affected by the overtime cuts.


ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico — Albuquerque police say they have made an arrest in a shooting when protesters tried to tear down a bronze statue of a Spanish conquistador outside a museum.

Police say 31-year-old Stephen Ray Baca was arrested on suspicion of aggravated battery in the shooting Monday night that left another man critically wounded. The shooting happened near a confrontation between protesters and a group of armed men trying to protect the statue of Juan de Oñate.

Online court records don’t list an attorney who could comment on Baca’s behalf.


PARIS — Vandals targeted a statue of French military commander Joseph Gallieni in central Paris.

“Down With the Official Version” and “The State is Responsible” was scrawled on the monument’s base.

Gallieni began a colonial career in the late 19th century and during World War I was a military governor of Paris. He used brutal methods to quell rebellion in French colonies, including as a governor of Madagascar, where he abolished the island’s 350-year-old monarchy.

Statues of World War II French Resistance leader and former President Charles de Gaulle also have been targeted by vandals in recent days. De Gaulle led France at the end of its colonial era in the 1950s and 1960s but is widely revered for helping free France from Nazi occupation. The vandalism prompted outcry from many politicians.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Sunday that France would not take down any statues of colonial-era figures.


RALEIGH, N.C. — The statue of a former newspaper publisher, U.S. Navy secretary and lifelong white supremacist has been taken down in North Carolina. The Raleigh News & Observer reported the statue of Josephus Daniels was removed from Raleigh’s Nash Square.

“The time is right,” said Frank Daniels III, a former executive editor of the newspaper who watched the monument to his great-grandfather come down. “I don’t think anyone would say that it’s not the appropriate time to move the statue of Josephus to a more appropriate location.”

The monument will be put into storage, he said. The statue came down in the wake of protests after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died during a police arrest in Minneapolis.


ST. CLOUD, Minn. — Police used tear gas to disperse a crowd early Tuesday during a second consecutive night of unrest in the central Minnesota town of 68,000.

About 100 people demonstrated in St. Cloud with some protesters chanting some of George Floyd’s last words “I can’t breathe” before he died on a Minneapolis street.

A dumpster was set on fire and pushed into the middle of a street, the St. Cloud Times reported.

Officers used their patrol cars to cordon off a liquor store, which appeared to have been broken into with glass and bottles strewn about.

A similar crowd had gathered early Monday after a rumor spread on social media that police had shot two black men. Actually, a police officer was shot in the hand while struggling to make an arrest, Police Chief Blair Anderson said. No officers returned fire while struggling with the man, who was black, officials said.


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The University of Virginia is changing the logos for its athletics teams just two months after they were unveiled, following criticism a design element referred to the school’s history with slavery.

Fans raised objections to the serpentine curves on the handles of the sabers below the V for Virginia and on the Cavalier shield. They were meant to mimic “the design of the serpentine walls” that long stood on the campus, according to a statement from the school’s athletics department on Monday. The school unveiled new images of the logos without the serpentine grooves on the handles.

Athletic Director Carla Williams said she decided to change the logos after she was “made aware of the negative connotation between the serpentine walls and slavery.” Historians pointed out that former President Thomas Jefferson designed the original eight-foot-high walls on campus to muffle the sounds of slaves and hide them from public view.

“There was no intent to cause harm, but we did, and for that I apologize to those who bear the pain of slavery in our history,” Williams said.


GENEVA — African nations have prepared a draft resolution at the U.N.’s top human rights body that singles out the United States and would launch intense international scrutiny of systemic racism against people of African descent in the wake of recent high-profile killings of blacks by American police.

The draft text, a copy of which has been obtained by The Associated Press, could become the centerpiece for an urgent debate hastily scheduled for Wednesday for the Geneva-based Human Rights Council.

It calls for a Commission of Inquiry — the rights body’s most powerful tool to inspect human rights violations — to look into “systemic racism” and alleged violations of international human rights law and abuses against “Africans and of people of African descent in the United States of America and other parts of the world recently affected by law enforcement agencies,” especially encounters that resulted in deaths.

The goal would be “to bringing perpetrators to justice,” said the text, circulated by the Africa Group. The breadth of support for the measure was not immediately clear.


LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville’s interim police chief said some demonstrators in the city blocked traffic and threw a brick into a media car while police deployed pepper balls at them.

The statements from Chief Robert Schroeder came in a joint news conference with Louisville’s mayor nearly three hours after police warned residents to avoid the city’s downtown area, and after a video posted on social media shows the brick being hurled into the window of a WLKY-TV camera crew’s car.

News outlets reported some demonstrators created barricades on streets using road signs and rocks. Mayor Greg Fischer said in the virtual news conference the city “can not have vehicles blocked from passing on roads safely.”

WLKY-TV reported the demonstrators chanted “No justice! No peace!” and called for three officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor, a black woman gunned down by officers who burst into her Kentucky home in March, to be fired and charged.


WASHINGTON — Embracing a new priority, President Donald Trump is set to announce executive actions on police procedures and Senate Republicans are preparing a package of policing changes as the GOP rushes to respond to mass demonstrations over the deaths of George Floyd and other black Americans.

It’s a sudden shift for the Republican Party, one Democrats are watching warily, and a crush of activity that shows how quickly the mass protests over police violence and racial prejudice are transforming national politics.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., declared that Republicans are developing “a serious proposal to reform law enforcement.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee will gavel in Tuesday afternoon for an extensive hearing on “Police Use of Force and Community Relations,” drawing testimony from the nation’s leading civil rights and law enforcement leaders.


ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A panel has voted to remove a plaque from Maryland’s Capitol that honors the Civil War’s Union and Confederate soldiers and until recently showed the U.S. flag and Confederate flag crossed.

The four members of the State House Trust, which oversees the Maryland State House and its grounds voted to remove the plaque after Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones renewed her push to get rid of it — after the panel decided last year to cover the flags with an image of Maryland’s state flag. Jones continued pushing for complete removal because of the sign’s language.

“I want to thank the State House Trust for this important vote today to remove this confederate-sympathizing plaque,” Jones wrote on Twitter. “We have made great strides to reflect the importance of African-Americans in our State’s history over the past year.”

In February, Maryland unveiled bronze statues of famed abolitionists Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass, both of whom were born slaves on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Those statues are now in the Capitol’s Old House Chamber, the room where slavery was abolished in the state in 1864.

Jones, a Democrat who is Maryland’s first black and first female House speaker, renewed her push to remove the Civil War plaque last week.


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