Crews begin to remove Confederate monument in Portsmouth, Va.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Crews have begun to remove parts of a large Confederate monument in the southeastern Virginia city of Portsmouth.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that crews began the work on Wednesday.

The city’s Confederate monument spawned decades of controversy in the majority black city of nearly 100,000 people. The removal work is beginning more than two months after the monument was spray painted and heavily damaged.

During a protest in June, heads of some of the statues were ripped off and one of the statues was pulled down, critically injuring a demonstrator.

A state law passed earlier this year by the state Legislature’s new Democratic majority allows cities to remove Confederate monuments.

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