As the huge figure was brought to the ground, a crowd of people cheered and sang. Lee was lowered to the ground by a construction worker, who wrapped harnesses around Lee's horse and raised his arms high. This sparked cheers from hundreds of others. The piece was then cut by a crew.
"Any remnant such as this that glorifies Civil War's lost cause, it must be taken down," stated Gov. Ralph Northam called it "hopefully anew day, a new era" in Virginia. The Democrat claimed that the statue represented "more then 400 years of history that should not be celebrated."
Sharon Jennings, a Richmond-born African American woman, expressed mixed feelings about seeing it go.
Jennings, 58, said, "It's both a happy day and a sad day at once." It doesn't really matter who you are. If you love history and understand the street as it has been all your life, you will be thinking "Oh, my God!" But you will see that it must come down.
Some shouted "Whose streets?" Some chanted "Whose streets?" and sang, “Hey, Hey, hey!” After running into the fenced off work area, one man wearing a Black Lives Matter flag, he was taken out by police. There was no indication of a counter-protest and no arrests were made.
Workers used a power saw to cut the statue in two along the general's waist, so that it can be hauled under highway overpasses to an undisclosed state-owned facility until a decision is made about its future.
The job was overseen by Team Henry Enterprises, led by Devon Henry, a Black executive who faced death threats after his company's role in removing Richmond's other Confederate statues was made public last year. He stated that the Lee statue was their most difficult challenge.
"It will not transport in this height so we must lift the rider from the horse and transport it that manner. We don't know the time it will take from a thickness perspective. Is there any iron support? It's a complete mystery," Henry stated Wednesday.
The pieces were gone by mid-afternoon. To the cheers of the crowd, they were taken on a flatbed truck.
Northam, who was grieving for George Floyd's death at the hands white Minneapolis police officers last summer, ordered that the statue be removed. His plans were stalled by litigation until the Supreme Court of Virginia allowed him to move forward last week.