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AP scoop: Virginia to remove Robert E Lee statue

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Richmond, Virginia, staffers Alan Suderman, statehouse correspondent, and Sarah Rankin, reporter, used a tip from a high-level state government source to break the news that Gov. Ralph Northam planned to remove the Gen. Robert E. Lee statue that has towered over Richmond for 130 years.

Acting on the tip, Suderman relayed his reporting from the field to Rankin, who quickly filed the urgent series, adding important context from her years reporting on heated battles over monuments across the state. The pair’s AP Exclusive stood for more than half an hour before being matched by local and national outlets.

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An image of George Floyd is projected on the base of the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va., June 8, 2020. The statue has been a focal point of protest over the death of Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered the removal of the statue. – AP Photo / Steve Helber
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