Battle over Linn Park Confederate monument continues into 2018

Court, Legislative battle over Linn Park Confederate Monument
Updated: Jan. 5, 2018 at 5:27 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - The battle over the Confederate memorial at Linn Park in Birmingham will continue this year in the court and the Alabama legislature.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall sued Birmingham Mayor William Bell for covering up the monument.

There have been developments in the court case as Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo has set a hearing in the case for April.

Meanwhile, when the state legislature begins next week a state lawmaker is moving to get rid of the law which the Attorney General is using to sue Birmingham and possibly fine the city $25,000 a day for violating it.

"That monument sits within a few blocks of the 16th Street Baptist Church where four little girls were bombed and killed," says Representative Juandalynn Givan.

In August, then Birmingham Mayor William Bell ordered the Confederate monument covered by plywood boards. Bell considered it offensive to a mostly African American city.

Birmingham lawmaker Juandalynn Givan has prefiled a bill to repeal the Monument Preservation Act which is protecting the monument.

"We offer no money, no support, no maitenance. Why are we dictating to them what can and can't be done to a monuement," said Givan.

Cottondale Senator Gerald Allen backed the Preservation Act. Allen does not believe the legislature will kill it.

"The citizens of Alabama support Senate Bill 60 which the governor signed into law. I don't expect we will see any type of action coming toward us on that," said Allen.

The court battle over the monument could drag out the rest of the year into next year with the possiblity of appeals.

Givan says the monument sends the wrong message to African Americans. "Still believe in an era where African Americans are not good enough. Where slavery existed," she said.

"We all need to remember is the fact let's take care of history. Regardless of what it is. The good, the bad and the ugly," said Allen.

Mayor Randall Woodfin is not defending the lawsuit brought by the Attorney General. We asked for a comment and we were told the administration doesn't comment on pending lawsuits.

Last month, Woodfin said he will consult with the community and council.

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