Lauderdale Co. Commission: Moving Confederate monument violates state law

Lauderdale Co. Commission: Moving Confederate monument violates state law

FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - Moving Confederate statues: It’s a hot button issue across the country, in this state and right in Florence.

The Confederate statue that sits in front of the county courthouse is own county property, so Mayor Holt says that's why the city needs their support to relocate it.
The Confederate statue that sits in front of the county courthouse is own county property, so Mayor Holt says that's why the city needs their support to relocate it. (Source: WAFF)

We learned Monday night the Lauderdale County Commission will not support a resolution to move the statue that sits in front of the county courthouse.

Mayor Steve Holt says all the city council members are in support of relocating it to part of the city of Florence cemetery.

But the statue sits on county property.

That’s why Holt tells us they need the county’s support to move it.

County Chairman Danny Pettus tells us moving it would violate state law.

“These treasonous acts of violence and anti disestablishment tyraniusm to our monuments not only here but nationwide absolutely must be put to a stop,”' someone in public comment said.

That woman thanked the county commission for not supporting the removal of the statue.

“We’re sworn into office to uphold the law of the state of Alabama, so we’re not going to violate the law of the state of Alabama,” Pettus said.

Pettus says the law is the law. But one woman urged him to reconsider.

“Slavery was legal. Segregation was legal. The ability to beat your wife with a whip as long as it was smaller than the judge’s thumb was once legal. And we worked to change because there were people who were brave enough to say no,” a woman in public comment said.

She challenged the commission to take up the issue with the state.

“We have to look at Florence 40 years from now and what we want our city to represent. And I do not believe that we want to represent the hate that it is currently representing outside of our courthouse today,” she said.

Another woman said it would dishonor the memory of our soldiers.

“I firmly believe we would be desecrating our own history. Which would be detrimental to our future generations to come and also serving a cold injustice to both living and fallen heroic soldiers,” a woman in public comment said.

Jarrot Randell, who lives in Florence, tells me he’s counting on the City Council.

“We know the county commissioners aren’t going to do anything. They’ve made it clear. Everyone wants to point to the state laws and reasons for not acting. And I think we’ve seen in our entire history that there are some laws that need amending,” he said.

He says the traditions of our ancestors should not drive the future.

“This our Shoals. It’s not the Shoals of decades and decades and decades ago. We got to do better for our whole community,” he said.

We spoke with Holt after the meeting. He says the city council will meet to discuss other ways to relocate the statute. We’ll be sure to give you any updates as they unfold.

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