Judge Hits Pause Button on Removal of Slave Auction Block in Virginia

Slave Auction Block
NBC Washington

A judge in Virginia has hit the pause button on a city's plans to remove a 175-year-old slave auction block from a city's downtown street corner.

The Free Lance-Star reported Monday that Circuit Court Judge Sarah Deneke has agreed to a 15-day stay of her order to remove the block in Fredericksburg.

Her order allows a business owner who is challenging the removal to ask the Virginia Supreme Court to take on the case.

E.D. Cole Building LLC owns a commercial building across the street from the auction block. The firm and the owner of a nearby restaurant have argued that they'll lose business from tourist traffic if the auction block is removed.

Businesses near a controversial slave auction block in Fredericksburg are suing to keep the city from moving it to a museum. Juliana Valencia reports the business owners argue they will lose money because the auction block is a tourist detination.

The judge already ruled that city officials have the authority to approve the removal of the block. The city had previously placed traffic cones around the block with plans to move it before the business owner urged the court to stop the city.

The judge on Monday denied the business owner's request for a temporary injunction to stop the removal while an appeal is heard. But she only allowed time for the state Supreme Court to possibly intervene.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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