Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Vote to Remove Memphis' Confederate Statues Held by City Council

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 5:32 PM

Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue in Health Sciences Park
  • Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue in Health Sciences Park

The Memphis City Council was set Tuesday to have the third and final vote on an ordinance that requires the city administration to adopt a plan to immediately remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis statues, as well as related artifacts from the city.

However, following city council attorney Allan Wade’s advisement to hold the vote until the next meeting, the council decided with no objections to hold it until Tuesday, Dec. 5.

Wade said that in the interim, the Tennessee attorney general has asked that city officials meet with representatives of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and descendants of Forrest to discuss possible future locations for the statue and graves of both Forrest and his wife.

He said this mediated meeting is set to take place no later than the council’s Dec. 5 meeting.

Wade also said that the city is in the process of pursuing litigation challenging the Tennessee Historical Commission’s October decision to deny Memphis’ waiver petition for the removal of Forrest’s statue from Health Sciences Park downtown.

Additionally, the city has filed with the Shelby County Chancery Court to declare the statue a “public nuisance” on an expedited basis.

Wade said that local litigation should be completed by January, but the council’s vote on the ordinance won’t be held beyond Dec. 5, as the city is “prepared to pull the trigger.”

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