Judge tosses lawsuit seeking to move Confederate monument

Protesters gather in front of the Confederate statue in Norfolk in 2017. Southside Daily/Courtesy of 13NewsNow)
Protesters gather in front of the Confederate statue in Norfolk in 2017. Southside Daily/Courtesy of 13NewsNow)

NORFOLK — A judge here has dismissed a lawsuit by activists which sought to force the city of Norfolk to move its 112-year-old Confederate monument.

Chief Judge Mary Jane Hall said in an 11-page order entered Tuesday that the plaintiffs failed to prove that their constitutional rights were being violated by the continued placement of the Confederate monument.

The plaintiffs, Roy Perry-Bey and Ronald Green, sought to have the 80-foot (25-meter) monument moved as the Norfolk City Council promised in a resolution passed in 2017.

Perry-Bey called Hall’s ruling “improper.”

After Perry-Bey and Green had filed their lawsuit, Norfolk City Attorney Bernard Pishko said in April that the city would challenge a state law which makes it illegal to move war monuments, including those dedicated to the Confederacy.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.