Florida city votes to remove Confederate names

The Latest on protests and debate about Confederate symbols around the U.S. (all times local):

11:35 p.m.

The city commission of a suburb in Florida has voted to erase the names of Robert E. Lee and two other Confederate generals from the city’s streets.

The Hollywood City Commission voted 5-1 late Wednesday to remove the names of Lee, Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Bell Hood from residential streets that hopscotch through the Fort Lauderdale suburb.

Mayor Josh Levy said he voted for the change because it will erase symbols of bigotry and oppression. The streets will be renamed later.

Commissioner Peter Hernandez walked out before the vote but said he opposed the change because it will lead to other streets being renamed.

More than 200 supporters and opponents had packed the commission chambers and the adjoining lobby.

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6:45 p.m.

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has called on leaders in the Florida community of Hollywood to strip the names of three Confederate generals from its streets.

The Fort Lauderdale Democrat told the Hollywood City Commission on Wednesday that getting rid of the names of Robert E. Lee, Nathan Bedford Forrest and John Bell Hood won’t fix racial injustice, but it is a just step.

The commission is expected to vote on the proposed changes later Wednesday. Supporters and opponents packed the commission chambers and its lobby.

The commission gave preliminary approval to the change by a 5-2 vote last month. Change supporters say the city should not honor military officers who fought against the U.S. to preserve slavery. Opponents say the three generals were honorable men who fought bravely and that removing their names would be erasing history.

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6 p.m.

The mayor of Charlottesville, Virginia, is apologizing for a statement he issued about the city’s response to a white nationalist rally that he says “impugned” the reputation of the city manager and police chief.

Mike Signer addressed reporters after an hourslong City Council meeting Wednesday. He apologized for the statement posted on Facebook, as well as other actions and communications, saying he had “overstepped” the bounds of his role.

Signer’s Facebook post asserted he’d been largely shut out of security preparations for the Aug. 12 rally, which descended into violence. One person was killed when a car plowed into a group protesting against the event.

The City Council said in a statement that it had accepted Signer’s apology and did not ask for his resignation.

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3:30 p.m.

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