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City removes statue of slaveowner Captain John O’Donnell from Canton Square


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    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The statue of Captain John O’Donnell no longer stands in Canton Square in Baltimore City as of Monday night.

The statue, which depicted the slave-owning merchant, came down later in the evening, months after community members and leaders petitioned for its removal.

Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott called it a “historical moment,” but said there are “countless” publicly named monuments and other things around the city that still need to be reassessed.

“Tonight, the hostile vestige to the notorious enslaver Captain John O’Donnell no longer stands in Canton Square. This is a historical moment, however, countless publicly named monuments, statues, streets, and schools across Baltimore remain that must be reassessed. I am committed to dismantling structural oppression in Baltimore by working with the City Administrator to commission a team to establish procedures for reviewing the impact of these cruel monuments while continuing to promote equitable policies to right yesterday’s wrongs. Thanks to the Canton Anti-Racism Alliance for their persistence on this effort and continuous work on building an inclusive Baltimore,” he said.

Mark Edelson, Canton Community Association President, Chair of the Canton Anti-Racism Alliance, and Candidate for Delegate in District 46, released a statement applauding the removal.

“I applaud Mayor Scott and his Administration for listening to our community and taking down the O’Donnell statue this evening,” said Mark Edelson. “The Canton Anti-Racism Alliance has built a diverse coalition of community members, business owners, African-American historians, and city residents to address the legacy of slavery in Canton and coalesce around building a better and shared future together. We petitioned the city – with support from nearly 1,000 local residents, Councilmember Zeke Cohen, and the entire District 46 Delegation – to remove the statue and tonight, thanks to the Scott Administration, it came down. Tonight represents a new chapter of welcoming and inclusivity in Canton.”

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