Virginia governor encourages cities to take down monuments

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe walks into the Paramount Theatre in Charlottesville, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after speaking with reporters outside a memorial service for Heather Heyer, who was killed during a white nationalist rally. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he’s changing his mind on the need to remove Confederate statues in the wake of a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville.

McAuliffe released a statement Wednesday saying monuments of Confederate leaders have become “flashpoints for hatred, division and violence.” He’s encouraging local governments and General Assembly to take down those monuments and put them museums.

McAuliffe had previously said he did not think the monuments needed to be removed. He joins a growing number of elected officials who have called for Confederate monuments to be removed following the violent events in Charlottesville, where white supremacists rallied against the city’s planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

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