(AP) — The state of Virginia has brought in a deconstruction crew surrounded by a heavy police presence to remove one of the nation’s largest remaining monuments to the Confederacy. Workers have put straps on the towering statute of Robert E. Lee so that it can be lifted off its pedestal in Richmond, Virginia, 131 years after it was erected in the former capital of the Confederacy. Many consider the equestrian statue an offensive tribute to the South’s slave-holding past. Public officials in Virginia resisted its removal until the death of George Floyd under a police officer’s knee. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans to take it down amid nationwide protests against police brutality and racism.