Charlottesville mayor calls for emergency meeting to remove Robert E. Lee statue
The mayor of Charlottesville has called on the governor to convene an emergency meeting of state lawmakers to allow the city to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
Mike Signer's statement comes nearly a week after white supremacists descended on the city in Virginia for a rally and clashed with counter protesters.
One woman was killed on Saturday when a car ploughed into a crowd of counter protesters.
News media outlets report that Mr Signer said the attack turned the monuments from "equestrian statues into lightning rods".
He said the city must respond "by denying the Nazis and the KKK and the so-called alt-right the twisted totem they seek".
Mr Signer also wants lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow communities to bar people from carrying open or concealed weapons in public events "reasonably deemed to pose a potential security threat".
Mr Signer called on Governor Terry McAuliffe to convene a special session of the General Assembly.
Also on Friday, the mother of the woman who was killed said that she will not talk to President Donald Trump because of comments he made after her daughter's death.
Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America, Susan Bro said she initially missed the first few calls to her from the White House.
But she said "now I will not" talk to the president after a news conference in which Mr Trump equated violence by white supremacists at the rally with violence by those protesting against the rally.
Ms Bro's daughter, 32-year-old Heather Heyer, was killed and 19 others were injured when the driver rammed a car into a crowd of demonstrators. An Ohio man, James Alex Fields Jr, has been arrested and charged with murder and other offences.
In the hours afterwards, Mr Trump drew criticism when he addressed the violence in broad strokes, saying he condemned "in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides".
Pressured by advisers, the president had softened his words on the dispute by Monday, but returned to his combative stance on Tuesday, insisting during an unexpected and contentious news conference at Trump Tower that "both sides" were to blame.
"You can't wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying 'I'm sorry'," Ms Bro said of the president. She also advised Mr Trump to "think before you speak".
Mr McAuliffe's spokesman Brian Coy said the governor will not call a special session while the issue is being decided in court.
"The governor hopes the court will rule in the city's favour soon and encourages Mayor Signer to focus on that important litigation rather than a redundant emergency session," Mr Coy said.
Mr McAuliffe did sign an executive order Friday afternoon temporarily banning any public demonstrations at a monument in Richmond.
Unlike the Charlottesville statue that sits in a city park, the Richmond monument to Lee is in the middle of a traffic circle on Monument Avenue, a boulevard with heavy traffic.