Chief Judge Mary Jane Hall dismissed a lawsuit filed by activists that tried to remove Norfolk’s confederate monument.
The lawsuit was filed in March by Roy Perry-Bey and Ronlad Green, and claimed that the monument supported ideas such as slavery, racial segregation, secession, white supremacy and violence. They said the monument represented a danger to them personally and that it violates their First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.
The monument is located in the 400 block of E. Main St. and dedicated to confederate soldiers. The plaintiffs asked for the 80-foot monument to be moved to Elmwood Cemetery.
However, Judge Hall wasn’t convinced that the statue went against their civil rights.
“As offended as Plaintiffs undoubtedly are by this prominent reminder of a long history of racial oppression, the First Amendment restricts government regulation of private speech and does not restrict the government’s own speech,” Hall wrote in her order.
She also wrote that there was no evidence that the plaintiffs had been deprived of life, liberty or property.
Perry-Bey said that the judge’s ruling was improper. He plans to appeal the decision to the Virginia Supreme Court referred to Hall’s actions as unethical.