Attorney General's Office waiting for Madison County Commission contact on Confederate monument

The Alabama Attorney General's Office said on Wednesday that neither the Madison County Commission nor the City of Huntsville has contacted its office regarding the statue.

Posted: Aug 5, 2020 11:11 PM
Updated: Aug 6, 2020 7:19 AM

As protesters gathered on the steps of the Madison County Courthouse and resumed calls for the Confederate monument to come down, the Alabama Attorney General's Office confirmed that they have not been reached regarding the monument.

In a statement to WAAY 31 on Wednesday, a spokesperson said they have "not been contacted by the Madison County Commission or the City of Huntsville about potentially resolving legal claims regarding the future movement of the Confederate monument in Huntsville."

Protesters gather in front of the Confederate monument at the Madison County Courthouse to call for its removal on August 5, 2020. Overnight, the monument was splattered with red paint. Protesters gather in front of the Confederate monument at the Madison County Courthouse to call for its removal on August 5, 2020. Overnight, the monument was splattered with red paint.

Wednesday did bring some change to the statue: it is now splattered with red paint that some, like those who protested Wednesday evening, said looked like blood.

Community activist Frederick Whitlow II argued that the monument should've come down a long time ago and described it as a black eye for the Rocket City.

"That does not reflect, in any way, the beauty of humanity and the beauty of Huntsville," Whitlow said.

Wednesday's protest was dubbed "Let the Stain Remain" by organizers with the Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance. It's president, David Odom, said no taxpayer money should be used to clean up the red paint.

"We will strongly protest any use of taxpayer dollars or public resources to polish white supremacy, to clean a Confederate monument," Odom said.

When he learned from WAAY 31 that the Madison County Commission had not reached out to the Alabama Attorney General's Office, he said he wasn't surprised.

"I don't think Dale Strong was ever serious about moving the thing. I think it was always a delay tactic, but here it is completely exposed. So here we are again at square one. What is Chairman Strong going to do?" Odom said.

WAAY 31 reached out to all of the county commissioners along with the Madison County attorney and administrator for comment about why the commission hasn't reached out to the attorney general. A response was not provided by the time this article was published.

A spokesperson for the City of Huntsville said that because the monument is on county property, they are limited in what they can do to remove it. She said the city would assist in the monument's removal if called upon by the Madison County Commission.

A few dozens people turned out to the protest Wednesday night. Among them was Gina McGill who said Wednesday was only her second time coming out to a protest like this in Huntsville. She said she was moved to come out after she saw the paint on the monument.

"It's so symbolic because so many Africans and African-Americans shed their blood just for this country to be built," McGill said.

Protesters said the county commission should follow the lead of cities like Mobile that signed a memorandum of understanding with the Alabama Attorney General on June 15. The city agreed to pay the $25,000 fine and the state agreed not to file a lawsuit against the City of Mobile.

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