City Council Calls for a Backup Plan to Remove Forrest Statue


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

The Memphis City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday, calling for the city

to present a backup plan to remove or relocate the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue to the council by Nov. 21.

City council attorney Allan Wade said if the city cannot legally remove the statues, the ordinance provides alternative solutions like shutting Health Sciences park down completely or re-purposing the park to memorialize the 22 individuals lynched in Shelby County.

The ordinance passed, sponsored by Councilman Joe Brown, replaces the previous ordinance that called for the immediate removal of Confederate statues.

This vote comes after the THC voted Friday to deny the city’s waiver request for the Forrest statue, but approved the city’s declaratory order to seek an administrative law judge.

Wade said these decisions by the commission paved the way for the city to pursue legal remedies for statue's removal.

An administrative court is set to hold an expedited hearing in the next month that will determine if the 2013 law prohibiting the removal of war monuments applies to the Forrest statue.

Wade said the council will continue to work with the city administration to find a legal remedy for the statues.

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