New Orleans to remove four prominent Confederate monuments after mayor approves bill
Four prominent Confederate monuments in New Orleans were slated for removal Thursday, ending a months-long process that began in the aftermath of the killing of nine African Methodist Church members in Charleston, S.C., by a white supremacist last June.
Mayor Mitch Landrieu, a Democrat, approved the removal by signing legislation only hours after the city council voted 6-1 in favor of the move. In order for New Orleans to move forward, "we must reckon with our past," Landrieu told the council ahead of the vote.
The new law takes aim at statuary memorializing three prominent Confederate figures: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General P.G.T. Beauregard, a Louisiana native.
The fourth monument honors the former Crescent City White League, a chapter of a white supremacist paramilitary organization active in the 1870's.
The removal of that monument is subject to a federal court order. The city will now take the legal steps needed for that to happen.
Landrieu said the process to remove three of the monuments will begin within days by finding a contractor to take them down. He said it will cost about $170,000 to remove them. The city previously has said an anonymous donor has offered to pay for the work, according to the Associated Press.
He first proposed taking down these monuments after a white supremacist allegedly killed nine parishioners inside the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June.
Anti-Confederate sentiment has grown since then around the country, along with protests against police mistreatment, as embodied by the Black Lives Matter movement.