UPDATE: Lexington’s Confederate statues will not be moved to Veterans Park
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Veterans Park in Lexington is no longer being considered by the city as a possible site to relocate two Confederate statues that currently sit downtown, according to city officials.
At Tuesday’s regular afternoon work session, the Urban County Council unanimously took a first step toward removing two statues from the lawn of a former courthouse.
On a voice vote the council approved Mayor Jim Gray’s request to move the statues of Confederate officers John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge to an undetermined location. The proposal still needs further council action, which is expected to be taken at its regular meeting Thursday night.
The vote came after three people died related to violent protests at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend. Mayor Gray called for the removal of the statues immediately after the deadly incident.
Council members on Tuesday heard more than an hour of public comment from an overflow crowd in the council chambers on the proposal, with most supporting relocation of the statues.
The city would still have to ask a state military heritage commission for permission to move the statues.
The leader of a white nationalist group said it is planning an event in Lexington soon to protest the statues relocation. Lexington’s police chief said on Tuesday that he had been in contact with law enforcement authorities in Charlottesville and that the department would be prepared for protests.