Dispute over Confederate monument takes a turn

Dispute over removal of Confederate monument takes a turn

SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Caddo Parish leaders’ recent order to have the Confederate monument removed from the courthouse lawn has been met with a stern, written response.

In his missive, Arthur Carmody Jr. claims there are several reasons that the order to relocate the monument is not legally valid.

The attorney, who said he was writing as an independent citizen of Caddo Parish, also contends that Caddo commissioners are legally incorrect in thinking that they have the right to remove the monument.

Carmody also explains that he only works pro bono for the Shreveport chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the group that owns the monument.

Last week, the Caddo Parish attorney sent a letter to the group demanding the monument’s removal within 90 days.

Back in May, a federal appellate court sided with the parish that it owns the land where the monument sits.

Caddo Commissioner Lyndon Johnson explained his first reaction when hearing about this issue:

"We went through all the legal matters. It went from district court to federal court. Went to some appeals and so through all the appeals time ran out and so that's why our attorney sent the letter."

Commissioner Steven Jackson agreed.

"Our position is that, you know, it's our property that the monument is on and we're asking them to remove it. We're not. We're not asking anybody to defame or deface the property. We simply ask for it to be moved."

KSLA News 12 reached out to the attorney representing the United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter.

He said his client has no comment at this time.

The group is waiting to learn whether the U.S. Supreme Court will hear their appeal.

And then there is the question of what happens should the UDC chapter refuse to move the monument by November.

The short answer, according to commissioners like Johnson and Jackson. is that the parish would move it and then bill the group for the cost.

Despite reports to the contrary, Johnson and Jackson both said there are no official estimates on the cost yet.

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