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Crews remove Baltimore's Confederate statues overnight

WBAL TV Baltimore logo WBAL TV Baltimore 8/16/2017
Baltimore's Confederate Monuments Were Torn Down Overnight © Provided by Newsy Baltimore's Confederate Monuments Were Torn Down Overnight

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Baltimore's Confederate four monuments have come down faster than previously thought.

Baltimore's mayor and City Council members differed over how to remove the city's four Confederate monuments, but crews removed all four statues early Wednesday.

"I thought that there was enough grandstanding, enough speeches being made. Get it done. I spoke with the Council on Monday morning. I spoke with the president of the City Council. I said, 'With the climate of this nation, that I think it's very important that we move quickly and quietly,'" Pugh said during a news conference at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

"I did what was right for my city," Pugh said.

About a dozen city crews and private contractors were seen in Wyman Park, removing the Lee and Jackson Monument. Crews started getting ready around midnight Tuesday. By 3 a.m., a crane hoisted the monument from its pedestal. By 3:45 a.m., the monument was transferred to a flatbed truck.

Baltimore Confederate statue

Baltimore Confederate statue
© Provided by Hearst Television, Inc.

The Roger Taney statue in Mount Vernon had already been removed by the time 11 News arrived at 2:30 a.m.

Pugh decided in June to remove the Confederate monuments then decided Tuesday to do it overnight.

The mayor said removal began around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and ended around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. She watched in person. The monuments have been taken somewhere outside the city.

She suggests plaques take the place of the statues to explain what used to be there and why they were removed.

The mayor advises others who are considering removing Confederate statues to do it quietly and quickly.

"I think any city that has Confederate statues are concerned about violence occurring in their city, and I just think that Baltimore, right in the midst of getting the consent decree completed, this is not something that is needed," Pugh said.

On Monday night, the City Council cited events in Charlottesville, Virginia, when it adopted a resolution calling for the immediate destruction of Confederate monuments.

Baltimore's four Confederate monuments included a Confederate women's monument in Bishop Square Park, a monument for soldiers and sailors on Mount Royal Avenue, the Lee and Jackson Monument in the Wyman Park Dell and a statue of Roger Taney that sits just north of the Washington Monument.

Pugh has said that she has talked with contractors about logistics, contacted the Maryland Historical Trust for permissions and identified Confederate cemeteries to send some statues to.

This is a developing story that will be updated here and on WBAL-TV 11 News.

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