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WATCH: Person Seriously Injured After Confederate Statue Lands On Him As Rioters Tear It Down

By  Ryan Saavedra
Demonstrators rally for the removal of a Confederate statue coined Silent Sam on the campus of the University of Chapel Hill on August 22, 2017 in Chapel Hill North Carolina. (Photo by Sara D. Davis/Getty Images)
Sara D. Davis/Getty Images

A person who was present when a confederate statue was torn down in Portsmouth, Virginia, on Wednesday night was seriously injured when the statue landed on the individual, appearing to hit the man in the head.

“Demonstrators beheaded the four Confederate statues before pulling one down using a tow rope Wednesday night at the Portsmouth Confederate monument as police watched,” the Daily Press reported. “A protester was injured as the statue fell, hitting him on the head. Louie Gibbs, vice president of the Portsmouth NAACP, said the man, who was in his 30s, lost consciousness. The man’s head was cut open, and he was transported to the hospital.”

Reporter Alex Salvi tweeted out a video of the incident which appears to show the statue striking the person in the head as it is pulled down.


A man who witnessed the incident told a local reporter that the man was in critical condition after being struck, his skull was showing and he was convulsing on the ground as he lost a significant amount of blood.

“We witnessed taking down the monument, the Confederate monument, and there was an individual in the front, they were pulling on a cord and they had been working at the legs for sometime, they had been trying to get it down and then there was a gentlemen who was directly in front of the statue and when the statue finally did give way it came and fully hit him in the head,” a witness told a local reporter. “And we could see that his skull was actually showing, he was convulsing on the ground, he lost a great amount of blood, and we’re just asking everybody to pray for that man right now.”

Following the incident, Norfolk Mayor Kenneth Alexander released a statement saying that anyone who scales the monument will be removed for safety reasons:

Across the country people are demonstrating in remembrance of lives lost to police violence and hate crimes.  Thousands have participated in the peaceful protests in the City of Norfolk and we hope that this very important dialogue will continue. But it is extremely important that we all stay safe.

While we welcome peaceful demonstrations at the monument at Commercial Place, we want everyone to understand that the size of the monument, it stands at 80 feet, does not lend itself to safe removal without the use of a truck mounted construction crane. Out of an abundance of caution, anyone who attempts to scale the monument will be removed in the interest of their own safety.

City Council has been unequivocal in expressing its desire to remove the monument. In August 2017, Norfolk City Council unanimously passed a resolution to remove the monument as soon as permitted by state law. During the 2020 Session of the Virginia General Assembly, legislation was adopted, HB1537, that cleared legal hurdles that prevented us from moving forward. This law is effective July 1. On June 2, after our City Attorney presented steps that we must follow for its removal, City Council voted to schedule the required public hearing on July 7 for discussion of removal. It is our intent to remove the statue by August 7, the earliest possible date allowed by law.

Tonight, an individual was seriously injured in an attempt to remove a statue in Portsmouth.  We are praying for his full recovery and hope that this incident will not be repeated in other localities. Again, in the interests of everyone’s safety, we strongly urge your cooperation in this matter.

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