Members of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first African-American, intercollegiate Greek-lettered fraternity, sing and pray in solidarity for the removal of the monument to Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, top left, in New Orleans, La. Thursday, May 4, 2017. The City Council voted to remove the statue and three others in Dec. 2015. In the 150 years after the Civil War the City of New Orleans has struggled with the symbolism of its monuments. Current New Orleans Mayor Landrieu stated that four monuments in particular were erected by white supremacist groups including former Confederates in prominent areas of the city to glorify the Lost Cause. The Lost Cause of the Confederacy is a form of denialism, mostly in the South, that denies that slavery was the underlying cause of the war, and that the Confederate cause was heroic despite its defeat. On June 17, 2015, 21-year-old white supremacist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine church parishioners and injured three others in an act of racial hatred in Charleston, South Carolina. After the massacre there was a call for action around the country, including New Orleans, which has majority black population, to remove white supremacist imagery from public view. On July 9, 2015 Mayor Mitch Landrieu, who is white, spoke before the City Council asking them to remove three Confederate statues erected during the Jim Crow racial segregation era and a white supremacist monument glorifying the White League’s attack on a racially integrated New Orleans police force in what the White League called the "Battle of Liberty Place." Several black police officers were killed on September 14, 1874 in the attempted insurrection by the White League. On December 17, 2015, after contentious public comments, the city council voted 6-1 to remove the monuments. Several federal and state court cases were filed by the Monumental Task Committee (MTC) and other pro-monument groups to stop the removal over the next year and a half. In the meantime the monuments remained a flashpoint for protests and controversy as they had been for decades before the city council vote. Protests were held after the death of Alton Sterling and after the election of Donald Trump at the Robert E. Lee statue. The group Take ‘EM Down NOLA staged a protest for the removal of another statue of Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square on September 24, 2016, and former Ku Klan Klan grand wizard and then U.S. Senate candidate David Duke showed up to counter-protest. On March 6, 2017 the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that legal claims of the MTC and the other groups, "wholly lack legal viability or support," and the city moved forward with plans to remove the monuments. The "Battle of Liberty Place" monument was the first to come down on Monday, April 24, 2017, followed by a statue of the leader of the Confederacy Jefferson Davis, a statue of Confederate P. G. T. Beauregard, and then the Robert E. Lee Statue was the last to come down on May 19, 2017. There were fights, arrests, and some injuries but none serious, as the New Orleans Police Department stopped vehicle traffic near the removals and engaged protesters and separated them into opposing sides. Many cities followed the example of New Orleans and removed the statues peacefully. However in Charlottesville, Virginia police were unable to contain the protest and to prevent vehicle traffic and deadly violence ensued. The process to remove the statues took over 22 months from July 2015 to May 2017. By comparison New Orleans spent a little over 14 months in the Confederacy from January 1861 to April 1862 when the city was abandoned by the Confederates and captured by the Union army without a single shot fired in the city.