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Portsmouth City Council sets date for public hearing on Confederate monument

Portsmouth City Council members said they will have a public hearing in July to address the future of the Confederate monument in Olde Towne.

PORTSMOUTH, Va. — Portsmouth City Council members called an emergency meeting on Wednesday to discuss how to proceed with discussions about the future of the Confederate monument in Olde Towne.

The council already talked about plans to remove the statue from its location in the middle of Court Street when it met on Tuesday night.

RELATED: Portsmouth City Council proposes plan to remove Confederate statue

The topic seemed to take on additional immediacy Wednesday after a protest that saw two members of the Portsmouth branch of the NAACP taken into custody for a short time.

Later in the day, demonstrators covered the monument with spray-painted messages despite the addition of the "no trespassing" signs around the monument.

RELATED: Portsmouth NAACP president released after being taken into custody during protest in Olde Towne

Council voted 4-3 Wednesday afternoon to hold a public hearing on the future of the monument on July 28. The other option on the table was to hold a referendum on the monument.

After the hearing, council will have 30 days to decide what it will do.

The council members set aside $200,000 to help determine what will be done with it.

During the meeting, some council members raised the issue about the vandalism that took place as well as concerns about liability, given the fact that people climbed the monument in order to spray-paint it.

The city manager said it she was looking into putting a higher fence up around the memorial.

Posted by Angelo Vargas 13News Now on Wednesday, June 10, 2020
Credit: Megan Shinn, 13News Now

RELATED: Portsmouth NAACP president calls for police force policy changes

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