DeKalb County leaders take steps toward removing Confederate mon - CBS46 News

DeKalb County leaders take steps toward removing Confederate monument

Posted: Updated:
Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

DeKalb County commissioners voted Tuesday to take steps toward the removal of the Confederate monument on the Decatur Town Square.

County commissioner Mereda Davis-Johnson introduced the measure, which calls for the monument's removal or relocation. It also directs the county's attorney to find out who actually owns the monument.

County commissioners voted six-to-one to approve the resolution.

However, at the moment, the resolution does nothing more than show that DeKalb County leaders want the monument to be removed. State law restricts the removal of Confederate memorials on public property, leaving an unresolved question -- who actually owns the monument and the land on which it sits?

With the approval of the resolution, county leaders vow to get to the bottom of it. For now, the county clerk has not been able to find any documentation to prove that the county formally accepted the monument as a gift when it was erected in 1908.

The monument, presented by local chapters of the Daughters of the Confederacy and Confederate Veterans, is engraved with the initials C.S.A., which stands for Confederate States of America. Inscriptions on the monument praise Confederate soldiers and sailors.

Before the vote, speakers on both sides of the debate addressed commissioners and reporters.

“That Confederate memorial is about remembrance, said Chris Billingsley, a retired teacher who said he taught history at Decatur High School for 35 years. "It’s not about white supremacy, and " said Chris Billingsley,   And it’s not about the Ku Klux Klan."

“Stop making it seem as though it was about anything other than slavery," said Mawuli Davis, president of the Beacon Hill branch of the NAACP. “The whole story has to finally be told,and the only way that it’s told is that that monument is removed and that those enslaved Africans are remembered."

The Decatur monument is one of several Confederate memorials across metro Atlanta. There are 174 publicly-supported spaces across the state dedicated to the Confederacy.

Copyright 2017 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Connect with CBS46