BREAKING: Memphis Willfully Defies State Law – Heritage Preservation Act

At the Memphis city council meeting tonight, the city voted to remove the Forrest statue and Jefferson Davis statue immediately. At this moment the parks are surrounded by Memphis City police and cranes are on site, the statues will be moved tonight. They are willfully violating the Heritage Preservation act; the City has broken state law.

This has been a well-organized, behind the scenes plan by the city. They deliberately did this after hours to prevent action on our part. State officials have been contacted and will address this immediately. All of the SCV leadership from National, Army, Division and Brigades are working on this matter.

My advice to each of you is to stay away from Memphis; I would say that the Memphis police will not tolerate any action around these statues.

James G Patterson,
Tennessee Division Commander
Sons of Confederate Veterans

The city of Memphis has lost every where they have appealed to get permission to VIOLATE state law, well with the exception of their local courts. This afternoon the City made a decision to willfully violate state law and remove the statues of Forrest and Davis. This is a direct violation of state LAW and we MUST allow the state to pursue this case in a lawful manner. We have been assured that the pursuit will be swift.

We have been fighting this case for over five years and damn sure don’t plan on backing down now. Everyone from National down to the Tennessee Division is aware and staying abreast of the violations that the City of Memphis enacted late this afternoon.

Thos. V. Strain Jr.
75th Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Please distribute the following message to all Camps and members. This is clearly an abomination and a most dastardly and discussing act. The men of AOT have been fighting and will continue to fight, this attack on our Heritage. They are pursuing all avenues and need our blessings and support. We must stand together ,shoulder to shoulder, and save our Heritage .
God Bless the South
God Bless our Compatriots in Memphis

Johnnie Holley
Commander Army of the Trans Mississippi
Sons of Confederate Veterans

The Memphis City Council voted Wednesday to sell two city parks with Confederate monuments, clearing the way for two statues to be removed before the city commemorates the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Mayor Jim Strickland first announced the sales of Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park on Twitter. “History is being made in Memphis tonight,” he said at a news conference later in the evening. Within an hour of the Memphis City Council’s vote, police officers and cranes were deployed to Health Sciences Park.

Health Sciences Park had a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general, which was removed around 9 p.m. local time. By 10:30 p.m., cranes had maneuvered into Memphis Park and around a statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy during the Civil War. About 15 minutes later, a crane hoisted the statue onto a truck as a crowd cheered and struck up songs, including “Hit the road Jack.”

Bruce McMullen, the chief legal officer for the city, said in an interview on Wednesday night that the parks had been sold to Memphis Greenspace, a nonprofit led by Van D. Turner Jr., a Shelby County commissioner.

The nonprofit seems to have been created expressly for the purpose of buying the parks: It filed its incorporation papers in October, Mr. Strickland said. Mr. Turner did not immediately return a request for comment.

The city sold Health Sciences Park in its entirety, Mr. McMullen said, and it sold its interest in an easement in Memphis Park. Each was sold for $1,000, he said. The transfer of the parks to private ownership effectively allowed the city to skirt the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, a state law that prohibits the removal, relocation or renaming of memorials on public property.

In October, the Tennessee Historical Commission, a state agency that oversees the law, voted to deny the city’s application for a waiver of the law regarding the two statues. Mr. McMullen dismissed the criticism of some groups, including the Sons of Confederate Veterans, who had accused the city of willfully violating state law. He said the city had been weighing the sale of the parks to a private group for a year. “We’ve always felt that we had a right to sell city property. We have in the past, and we probably will in the future,” Mr. McMullen said. “And what we did was perfectly legal and right.”

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