Mayor Michael Signer will make a major announcement on the future of Charlottesville's Robert E. Lee statue Friday, the epicenter of violent protests that stunned the nation and left one woman dead.
The announcement is expected at noon, with the event also set to unveil new plans to honor the legacy of Heather D. Heyer. The 32-year-old was killed when police said James Alex Fields Jr. careened his car into a crowd of protesters Saturday.
Discussions have swirled among civic leaders whether to rename the park surrounding the statue in Heyer's honor, with a large sign already taped to the statue's base reading, "Heather Heyer Park."
The announcement will take place two blocks from where Heyer was killed, with a memorial in her honor continuing to grow. Students returning to the University of Virginia carried an American flag and a U.Va. flag to the site, simply telling mourners and residents, "these are the flags that belong here."
The Lee statue is currently protected by a court injunction, prohibiting anyone from removing it until at least November. The bronze figure is currently at the center of a protracted legal battle, after the city council voted to remove it in February.