Charleston removing statue of former Vice President John C. Calhoun after unanimous city council vote

Per Live5, Charleston, South Carolina city leaders have approved a resolution to remove the statue of John C. Calhoun from Marion Square.

Charleston City Council voted unanimously on the resolution Tuesday night. Calhoun’s statue is the latest monument removal in a wave of similar actions throughout the country following George Floyd’s death.

CNN reports crews in Charleston, South Carolina, began the process of removing a statue of John C. Calhoun in the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to a tweet from the police department.

Calhoun, a former vice president of the United States, is also known for defending slavery and owning about 80 slaves himself.

Statues controversial because of their connection to racial injustice and slavery have been removed by both protesters and cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man who died in police custody. But conversations around those monuments, particularly Confederate monuments, have been the subject of national debate for years.

Charleston City Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution for the removal Tuesday night, according to CNN affiliate WCSC.

“We have a sense of unity moving forward for racial conciliation and for unity in this city,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said following the vote the station reported. “God bless you all.”

The meeting, with comments from members of the council and public, lasted two hours before the decision was reached, the station reported.

Councilmember Peter Shahid said it was time for the statue to be replaced with symbols of unity, the station reported.

“The statue has served as a symbol of division in our community and we don’t need that,” he said. “We need symbols that unite us, that bring us together not tear us apart.”