Lawmakers plan to push governor to remove Confederate statue in State Capitol

Jefferson Davis statue debate

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Confederate statues around the country have been the topic of conversation for several weeks.  Tomorrow--Kentucky lawmakers have their sights set on one that looks down on them nearly every day.

“I think we need to get on with the Confederacy and get to putting us back as the United States of America,” Senator Gerald Neal, 33rd District, said.

The statue of Jefferson Davis stands tall in the rotunda of the state capitol.  Davis, born near Hopkinsville, KY where a giant monument honors him was the president of the Confederate States during the Civil War.  Democratic Senator Gerald Neal, of Louisville, says keeping the statue in a place like the Capitol sends the wrong message in a time that the country is so divided.

“It's hard to be united when one segment of society is holding on a lost cause that should have been over in 1865,” Senator Neal said.

Senator Neal alongside other lawmakers and activists will rally for the removal of the statue on Wednesday.  And they're calling for the state's top leader, Governor Matt Bevin, to step up.

“What he needs to do is step back, disregard the political aspect of this scandal and do the moral thing that's right and do the things that pull us together,” Senator Neal said.

Governor Bevin does not make the final decision but he does have the power to appoint the commission who decides on where to place the statues. As a candidate, he said the statue belonged in a museum but recently said that it was would set a dangerous precedent to remove it.

The Kentucky Military Heritage Commission can make the decision to remove the statue.  But they told WHAS11 News that to date they have not received any written requests to remove the statue and until they do, they will not comment on the statue.

© 2018 WHAS-TV


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