JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A Confederate statue that had been in a northeast Florida park for more than a century was removed in the predawn hours Tuesday ahead of a protest demanding racial equality.
The statue of a Confederate soldier had sat atop a 62-foot monument memorializing Confederate soldiers in downtown Jacksonville's Hemming Park next to City Hall until it was removed before dawn without any announcement from city officials.
In an Instagram post, Hemming Park officials thanked the community for being listened to.
"Our mission is to provide a clean and safe space that is welcoming for all," park officials said in the post. "Today, that mission became more evident. Thank you, Mayor Curry and City of Jacksonville for listening to the Black Community and their allies and for bringing about positive change."
Mayor Lenny Curry had previously avoided taking a stance on the divisive issue of honoring the Confederacy on public property.
Curry told protesters that "other Confederate statues would be coming down."
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was leading a protest Tuesday outside of City Hall.