DeKalb County attorney says that Decatur’s Confederate monument can be movedAfter the Stand With Charlottesville candlelight vigil on August 13. 2017, in Decatur, Ga., attendees gather to discuss the controversial "Lost Cause" monument in Decatur Square.
This story has been updated.
An attorney for DeKalb County has weighed in on whether state law allows the county to remove a Confederate monument on the Decatur Square.
The attorney says the county does have the power to remove it, as long as it isn’t relocated to a place where it can’t be seen.
According to Hate Free Decatur, the group that has been leading the charge to remove the monument, the attorney said, “DeKalb County as a local government would be authorized to relocate the publicly owned monument, as long as its new location does not conceal it from visible display.”
The group intends to push the DeKalb County Commission to adopt a resolution calling for the relocation of the monument.
In October, the County Commission adopted a resolution calling for the monument’s removal and also directing the county’s attorney to find out who actually owns it.
The County Commission’s action follows a similar resolution approved unanimously by the Decatur City Commission in September. State law currently prohibits the removal of these monuments, but the city’s Legislative delegation wants to change the law to allow local communities to make those decisions. But the county has determined that the law does not apply in this case.
Activists have demanded the monument’s removal in the wake of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. that resulted in the deaths of three people. These groups held a rally and a discussion in the city’s downtown to support removing it. The monument has also been defaced three times since the debate began.
Here’s the attorney’s opinion: