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NC governor wants Confederate monuments removed

A toppled Confederate statue lies on the ground on Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, in Durham, N.C. Activists on Monday evening used a rope to pull down the monument outside a Durham courthouse. The Durham protest was in response to a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Va, over the weekend. Authorities say one woman was killed Saturday after one of the white nationalists drove his car into a group of counterprotesters. (AP Photo/Jonathan Drew)

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says Confederate monuments "should come down" and wants the legislature to repeal a law preventing state and local governments from removing them permanently and limiting their relocation.

In a message posted Tuesday on the website Medium, Cooper said North Carolina "cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery."

The Democratic governor says Civil War history doesn't belong in "a place of allegiance on our Capitol grounds." There are three such monuments around the old Capitol in Raleigh, along with dozens across the state at county courthouses.

The Republican-controlled legislature would have to repeal the 2015 law restricting the removal of monuments. Cooper says he's also asked state officials to determine costs and logistics for removing Confederate monuments from state property.

His office issued a news release later Tuesday repeating the governor's comments.

His remarks came just days after violent clashes erupted at a rally by white nationalists who were protesting the pending removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday. In response to that violence, a group of protesters toppled a Confederate monument in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday.

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