Baltimore tears down controversial statues, including Confederate memorials

Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The statues in the Confederate Women's Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed overnight on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.(WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
The statues in the Confederate Women’s Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed overnight on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Statures in the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monuments in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed overnight, Aug. 16, 2017.
 (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Statues in the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monuments in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed overnight, Aug. 16, 2017. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Workers remove the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson monument in Wyman Park early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Denise Sanders/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Workers remove the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson monument in Wyman Park early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Denise Sanders/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The empty pedestal of the former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney sits before dawn Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, after workers took several Confederate monuments down overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
The empty pedestal of the former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney sits before dawn Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, after workers took several Confederate monuments down overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

A bystander takes a picture of the monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland after it was taken down early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
A bystander takes a picture of the monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland after it was taken down early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away early Wednesday, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away early Wednesday, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

A monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland lies on a flatbed trailer early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away early Wednesday, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
A monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland lies on a flatbed trailer early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away early Wednesday, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

This photo shows the empty pedestal of the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson monument in Wyman Park early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after workers took it and several other Confederate monuments down overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
This photo shows the empty pedestal of the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson monument in Wyman Park early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after workers took it and several other Confederate monuments down overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

The statue of Roger Taney in Baltimore, Maryland, was removed in the early hours of Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Taney was Chief Justice during the Dred Scott decision in 1857,
 which ruled that African Americans were not U.S.
citizens and could not sue in court.
 (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
The statue of Roger Taney in Baltimore, Maryland, was removed in the early hours of Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Taney was Chief Justice during the Dred Scott decision in 1857, which ruled that African Americans were not U.S. citizens and could not sue in court. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

The statues in the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed Aug. 16.
 (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
The statues in the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed overnight. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Crews in Baltimore removed Confederate monuments around the city in the overnight hours of Wednesday morning. (Credit: Mia Rosas WBAL/@Mia_WBAL)
Crews in Baltimore removed Confederate monuments around the city in the overnight hours of Wednesday morning. (Courtesy Mia Rosas WBAL via Twitter)

Crews in Baltimore removed Confederate Monuments around the city in the overnight hours of Wednesday morning. (Courtesy Rebel Lens Baltimore)
Crews in Baltimore removed Confederate Monuments around the city in the overnight hours of Wednesday morning. (Courtesy Rebel Lens Baltimore via Twitter)

On Aug. 14, the Baltimore City Council voted to remove the Confederate monuments, citing the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend. (Courtesy: Rebel Lens Baltimore)
On Aug. 14, the Baltimore City Council voted to remove the Confederate monuments, citing the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend. (Courtesy: Rebel Lens Baltimore via Twitter)

(1/15)
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
The statues in the Confederate Women's Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed overnight on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017.(WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Statures in the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monuments in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed overnight, Aug. 16, 2017.
 (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Workers remove the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson monument in Wyman Park early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Denise Sanders/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
The empty pedestal of the former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney sits before dawn Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, after workers took several Confederate monuments down overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
A bystander takes a picture of the monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland after it was taken down early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away early Wednesday, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
A monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland lies on a flatbed trailer early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away early Wednesday, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
This photo shows the empty pedestal of the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson monument in Wyman Park early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after workers took it and several other Confederate monuments down overnight in the city. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)
The statue of Roger Taney in Baltimore, Maryland, was removed in the early hours of Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017. Taney was Chief Justice during the Dred Scott decision in 1857,
 which ruled that African Americans were not U.S.
citizens and could not sue in court.
 (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
The statues in the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee Monument in Baltimore, Maryland, were removed Aug. 16.
 (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Crews in Baltimore removed Confederate monuments around the city in the overnight hours of Wednesday morning. (Credit: Mia Rosas WBAL/@Mia_WBAL)
Crews in Baltimore removed Confederate Monuments around the city in the overnight hours of Wednesday morning. (Courtesy Rebel Lens Baltimore)
On Aug. 14, the Baltimore City Council voted to remove the Confederate monuments, citing the violence in Charlottesville over the weekend. (Courtesy: Rebel Lens Baltimore)

BALTIMORE, Md. — Just a couple days after Baltimore lawmakers approved a resolution to tear down Confederate monuments in the city, officials made quick work of it very early Wednesday morning, removing the controversial statues within a matter of hours.

By the time the sun came up, all four of the city’s statues were gone, and some of the sites were covered in spray paint and other graffiti.

“The folks that are displayed in these monuments were traitors to the United States of America, and we should not honor traitors with monuments,” said Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott when the council voted on the matter Monday.

“We should not have these anywhere for public display,” Scott said. “These monuments are being used as beacons of lightning for vile racism.”

Baltimore’s statues included a Confederate women’s monument, a statue for soldiers and sailors, a statue of Roger Taney and the Lee and Jackson Monument.

Mayor Catherine Pugh said they would all be removed following the council’s vote.

“The monuments are being stored until we decide what is the best course of action for them,” the Baltimore mayor’s office said.

“I’m impressed that it happened so quickly,” said Baltimore resident Bonnie Crawford. “These monuments tend to glorify people who fought for ideals that actually compromised the lives of citizens in this country.”

The developments in Baltimore come after the chaotic events in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend when white nationalists clashed violently with counter-protesters. The incident centered around efforts to remove a Confederate monument in Charlottesville.

Since then, more cities and states nationwide have called for tearing down statues of Confederate symbols.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan is asking for the removal of a statue of Roger Taney that sits on the front lawn of the State House.

Hogan said in a statement on Tuesday that he believes it is the right thing to do.

The Republican governor’s statement came a day after House Speaker Michael Busch, a Democrat, said the monument “doesn’t belong” at the State House in Annapolis.

Taney, a Maryland native, wrote the 1857 Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery and denied citizenship to black people.

WTOP’s Patrick Roth and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.


Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.

© 2017 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up