Memphis Gets Creative To Take Down Two Confederate Statues

A statue of Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States stands in Memphis Park formerly named Confederate Park in Memphis Tennessee U.S

See how Confederate statue of KKK leader was removed from Memphis park [Video]

Teams expelled two statues of Confederate pioneers from parks in Memphis, Tennessee on Wednesday night, after the city sold them to a private element.

The sale enabled the statues' removal, thanks to a new city law passed to effectuate the process.

The statues of former Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forest, who was also an early member of the Ku Klux Klan, and Confederate president Jefferson Davis were lifted from their positions by a crane, the New York Times reported.

Nearly two hours later, at 10:45 p.m., authorities removed the Jefferson Davis statue as onlookers sung, "Hit the road, Jack". The statue of Davis was at Fourth Bluff Park.

Majority Leader Glen Casada of Thompson's Station and GOP Caucus Chairman Ryan Williams of Cookeville claim the Memphis City Council violated "the spirit and intent of state law in protecting Tennessee history".

Cities have tried to remove Confederate monuments after the racially motivated massacre of nine people at a black church in SC and a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. "The statues no longer represent who we are as a modern, diverse city with momentum". Both statues were erected in the 20th century - Forrest in 1904 and Davis during the height of the civil rights movement in 1964.

Strickland says Greenspace legally was allowed to remove the statues, but the city wasn't. The vote Wednesday came after months of work done by the city officials who were fighting against the state's red tapes that resulted in the statues being kept despite a wave of public opposition. The nonprofit then removed the statues.

Selling the parks to a third party was a way to get around the Tennessee Historical Commission, which had previously denied the city's petition to take the statues down.

The City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to sell the two parks and crews began working right away to remove a statue of Forrest.

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Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner heads the group, known as Memphis Greenspace Inc. The organization was incorporated after the law's passage in October, Strickland said. City leaders have discussed ways to relocate the statue and move his remains, which are buried under the monument.

"It is a deliberate attempt to avoid the state law and the city is breaking the law", Lee Millar with Sons of the Confederate Veterans told CNN affiliate WREG.

"It's important to remember what I've said all along: I was committed to removing the statues in a lawful manner". The non-profit group claims their action was not governed by state law.

"Our history is not flawless, nor are the historical figures who helped shape our state and nation", Beavers said, "but it is wrong to destroy these public monuments suddenly and in the dark of night in order to cater to the politically motivated demands of those who want to cleanse our history".

Local governments across the United States have been weighing whether to keep Confederate monuments in their communities.

Some say the monuments are apart of history and honor heritage. Others argue the statues are racist symbols that venerate American slavery.

The decision by city leaders led to multiple protests.

The decision by city leaders led to multiple protests, a contractor pulled out of the project after his vehicle was lit on fire by protesters and at the end, it cost the city $2.1 million.

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