MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The city of Memphis won another victory in a lawsuit over the removal of confederate statues from two former city parks.
The sons of Confederate Veterans said it was illegal for the city to sell the parks to a non-profit so that it could remove the statues. But Tuesday, the Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled that the maneuver by the city was perfectly legal.
The court ruled that because the parks and monuments were no longer public property, they no longer were subject to protections under the ‘Tennessee Heritage Preservation Act’.
“I think this is important to everybody. All of these three men depicted in the statues were American veterans. And it just sets a bad precedent to take down any statue to erase history. And that is want Memphis is trying to do, erase history. That’s just wrong,“ said Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
“We are still ready to get this resolved, outside of court proceedings. We want the monuments outside of Shelby County and the parks to return to the citizen of Shelby County. Not with Confederate memorabilia, but with a free and fresh slate,“ said Van Turner, President of Greenspace.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans group tells Local 24 News they will appeal.
The city of Memphis sent this statement Wednesday after the ruling:
“The ruling from the Tennessee Court of Appeals is not surprising. The City has consistently stated that the sale of the parks and statues was legal. While Memphis Greenspace is now free to entertain offers for the statues, we believe the non-profit will make every effort to find an appropriate permanent home.”
-Bruce McMullen, Chief Legal Officer