PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WBZ NewsRadio) — After years of protests and vandalism, the City of Providence has removed the statue of Christopher Columbus from the square where it has stood for more than a century.
It took a three-man crew more than two hours to detach the monument and load it into a flatbed truck on Thursday, while crowds gathered to watch.
The removal order follows continued acts of vandalism against the nearly 7-foot tall monument over the past few weeks, while thousands across the U.S. have been protesting for racial equality.
The ACLU has criticized the Providence Police Department for bringing charges against a suspect who allegedly threw white paint at the statue while it was boarded up amid protests earlier this month.
According to Mayor Jorge Elorza, a six-member Special Committee for Commemorative Works will ultimately advise the city on what should become of the Columbus statue.
While Christopher Columbus is widely credited with being the Italian voyager who opened the path for Europeans to explore the Americas, according to the History channel, he also brutally enslaved inhabitants of the West Indies and sent thousands of native Americans to be sold as slaves in Spain.
(Photo: Getty Images)