Memphis City Council votes 11-1 to remove Confederate statue

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A vote by the Memphis City Council has cleared the way for the removal of a statute of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from a public park.

Council members voted 11-1 Tuesday to remove the statue of the rebel general, slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan member, according to local news outlets.

Chairman Myron Lowery, who sponsored the ordinance, said the vote reflected changing attitudes in Memphis.

“I think his (Forrest’s) past has been well documented, and there should be no place to honor racism, bigotry and hate,” Lowery said.

Although the vote has concluded, officials say the statue’s future is uncertain. The city may need approval from the Tennessee Historical Commission, which next meets in October, to remove the statue.

The vote follows the council’s July 7 approval of a resolution to move the bodies of Forrest and his wife, Mary Ann Montgomery, from the park back to their original Memphis burial plot.

The city needs support from the Forrest family and Chancery Court approval to move the bodies, which the cemetery agreed to do at no cost to the city.

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