Daviess Co. Fiscal Court votes to relocate Confederate statue

Daviess Co. Fiscal Court votes to relocate Confederate statue
Published: Aug. 6, 2020 at 11:46 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - A Confederate monument at the center of controversy in western Kentucky is now expected to be moved.

The Daviess County Fiscal Court voted unanimously Thursday in favor of its relocation from the county courthouse lawn, where the statue has sat for more than a century.

Ahead of Thursday’s decision, dozens of people showed up on the lawn of the Daviess County Courthouse to express opinions.

A portion of them were pushing for elected leaders to support a resolution that would remove the statue from public property.

“I was not here to change their mind, they’re not going to change my mind,” Antoine Smith-Rouse explained. “I was here, and I feel like a majority of us were here to let Daviess County and the commissioners know that there are people here who want the statue gone.”

Not everyone attending supported the monument’s removal. Some people say they feel it should stay.

“Basically it’s history,” Jack Gish expressed. “It gets turned into racism, and we understand why people can feel that way, but basically you can’t talk about the United States and the Union without the confederacy in it as well.”

[Previous: Group organizes ‘Save the Confederate Statue’ rally in Owensboro]

Inside the courthouse building, all four county leaders approved the relocation.

Each commissioner shared their stance ahead of the vote. Most of them recalled prior conversations with constituents on the topic.

Judge-Executive Al Mattingly says he wants the statue to be preserved, as well as stay in Daviess County.

"I don't think we could have asked for anything more," Smith-Rouse added.

"As long as it was done the right way," Gish shared. "You win some, you lose some."

Law enforcement stood nearby as the two groups shouted following the vote, but the Daviess County Sheriff’s Office intervened.

Where the statue will be relocated has not been decided.

[Previous: City leaders decide to not relocate confederate monument to Owensboro Museum of Science and History]

Judge-Executive Mattingly says a committee will be appointed to help find the best fit. They will be given about six months to do that research.

He also says a private group will cover the cost of the move.

You can watch the entire Daviess County Fiscal Court meeting in the video below:

You can watch Thursday’s demonstrations outside the Daviess County Courthouse in the video below:

(Please note: profanity is possible)

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