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More than 24,000 people have signed an online petition to replace a statue of Christopher Columbus in Elizabeth, N.J., with one of Marsha P. Johnson, an LGBTQ activist who was born there.

“We should commemorate Marsha P. Johnson for the incredible things she did in her lifetime and for the inspiration she is to members of the LGBT+ community worldwide, especially black trans women,” wrote Celine De Silva, the organizer of the Change.

org petition, which had nearly reached its goal of 25,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon.

Johnson, a black trans woman, was a central figure in the 1969 Stonewall uprisings in New York. She also helped found the Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a group that housed homeless and transgender youth, with fellow activist Sylvia Rivera. 

De Silva wrote that Columbus, whose history of slavery and genocide has come under renewed focus amid ongoing protests against racial inequality, “is not a figure to be celebrated."

The Hill has reached out to Elizabeth, N.J., Mayor Christian Bollwage (D) about the petition. 

Earlier this year, New York Gov. Andrew CuomoAndrew CuomoDemocratic officials, governors push for nationwide mask mandate as administration defends state-by-state approach Sunday shows - Coronavirus resurgence dominates Cuomo: Trump administration 'in denial' about coronavirus 'problem' MORE (D) said the East River State Park, located in Brooklyn, would be renamed after Johnson. It is the first New York state park to be named after an LGBTQ person. 

Statues of Columbus have been targeted by activists in multiple cities across the country, as have those of Confederate leaders and others associated with slavery or white supremacy.

Cuomo has declined to call for the removal of a statue of Columbus in New York City, calling it a representation of the “Italian American legacy.” 

Two other statues of Columbus have recently been removed from New Jersey cities, specifically West Orange and Camden, according to NJ.com.

Tags Andrew Cuomo New Jersey Columbus

News Source: thehill.com

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Man accused of fatally shooting pregnant woman in Minneapolis arrested

Police have arrested a Minneapolis man charged with fatally shooting a woman who was pregnant with his child.

The baby was delivered at a hospital and survived the shooting.

Zachary Robinson, 27, was arrested in Chicago, according to Minneapolis police.

He was charged last week in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree murder, second-degree assault and being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with the July 5 shooting of 27-year-old Leneesha Columbus.

Witnesses told police they saw Robinson and Columbus arguing near her SUV in a parking lot. A criminal complaint says that as Columbus started to drive away, Robinson fired several shots at the SUV.

When a man confronted Robinson in the parking lot and asked him what he was doing, Robinson pulled the handgun from his waistband and shot the man in his right foot, according to the complaint.

Robinson has a history of felony assaults dating to 2009 and is barred from possessing any firearms or ammunition, prosecutors said.

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