A statue of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson towers over Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia. Photo: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney ordered Wednesday all Confederate statues in the city to be removed, effective immediately.

Driving the news: A crew at the traffic circle of Monument Avenue and Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond has already begun the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson, the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: Richmond is the former capital of the Confederacy. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the removal of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in June. Protesters in Richmond also toppled the statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.

"It is past time. We have needed to turn this page for decades and today we will. Since the end of Richmond’s official tenure as the capital of the Confederacy 155 years ago we have been burdened with that legacy."
— Levar Stoney said in a recorded statement

Stoney also said he is moving quickly because the Confederate monuments have sparked mass protests and the gatherings are a health concern during the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that people have tried to topple the statues, posing the risk of injury.

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