Emotions run high on fate of Confederate monument in Shreveport

The future of the Confederate monument in downtown Shreveport hangs in the balance, as a Caddo...
The future of the Confederate monument in downtown Shreveport hangs in the balance, as a Caddo District Court judge weighs the case of whether it should stay or allow its removal.((Source: Semmie Buffin/KSLA))
Updated: Jul. 1, 2020 at 6:46 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The future of the Confederate monument in downtown Shreveport hangs in the balance.

On Tuesday, June 30, dozens of people gathered near the 30-foot tall statue on the north side of the Caddo Parish Courthouse.

Meanwhile inside, attorneys representing Caddo Parish and the United Daughters of the Confederacy, each turned in a legal brief, in lieu of giving oral arguments before Caddo District Judge Craig Marcotte.

Nicki Daniels, Jr. says he and his fellow gun club members came here over the weekend to protect their friends after hearing they were allegedly being harassed during a protest.

They returned on this day to show support for removing the monument.

“Why are we still having to come out here to fight over a monument that, for people that fought against our country, bro?” Daniels said. “Y’all don’t understand the hypocrisy in that? And then you want to ask why we’re out here protecting these people? It’s about good versus evil, that’s why.”

The UDC spent two years in federal court fighting to keep the monument right where it's stood since 1905, but ultimately came up short when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear their case last year.

Caddo Commissioners added half a million dollars to this year's budget to pay for the statue's removal.

But the UDC filed an injunction to temporarily stop that from happening.

Community activist Hersy Jones wondered aloud why this is still an issue in the courts.

“It shouldn’t have even been here. This is unnecessary tension in the community. The parish commission has the law on their side. They should use the law.”

Differing groups that oppose the monument have varying opinions on how to proceed. Fellow activist Will James offered some advice to others at the gathering.

"We need to be working together. All this divisiveness and all this division, or whatever. It's not doing anything."

Members of the United Daughters of the Confederacy tell us this case is far from over.

The UDC’s attorney declined an interview. According to past UDC state and Shreveport Chapter President Linda Gramling says they’re confident they can prove they own this 37-ton structure.

She also cautioned that tests on the structure confirmed a series of micro-cracks and trying to move it may cause the monument to crumble after sitting at the same location for 115 years.

Judge Marcotte did not give a time frame on when he might deliver his ruling.

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