City of Lexington removes Confederate statues

Published: Oct. 17, 2017 at 6:53 PM EDT
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A spokeswoman with Mayor Jim Gray's office says Attorney General Andy Beshear has given permission for the statues of John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan to be removed Tuesday evening located near the historic courthouse on Main Street.

Beshear’s ruling states: “In sum, we conclude that the Mayor was not authorized to sign the Applications and thereby consent to the designation of the Statues as military heritage objects without the prior approval of the LFUCG Council.”

"We hope now that we have control of the statues ourselves, and that we will be able to work that out," Vice Mayor Steve Kay said.

In early August Mayor Jim Gray called for the statues to be removed.

The city says the statues will be moved to a private storage facility while waiting to finalize an agreement with the Lexington Cemetery.

"I don't have any words," Take Back Cheapside organizer DeBraun Thomas said. "This is what we have worked for but not only is it something that we have worked for, it is something we can prove to the city and to this community, that if you work together and stand together, you can make a change."

But Thomas and Russell Allen, another Take Back Cheapside organizer, say they are not worried about possible protests.

"We want to let everyone know we're a city that's united in love and we have people that support us," Allen said. "We will make a statement of love if they come here."

Vice Mayor Kay says they wanted to get these statues moved because it is "the right thing to do."

"We've been trying to get it done for a long time," Kay said. "We are just thrilled that it's happening."

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Crane moving in place to remove 2nd statue in downtown Lex. Live coverage with Sam Dick WKYT and Angela Reighard WKYT at 11

Posted by WKYT on Tuesday, October 17, 2017