Police Jury releases statement on Confederate monument at courthouse

Police Jury releases statement on Confederate monument at courthouse
The South's Defenders Memorial Monument was put on the lawn of the Calcasieu courthouse in 1915, to honor the confederate war dead of Southwest Louisiana. (Source: KPLC)

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The Calcasieu Police Jury is in a period of “active listening” from residents about the Confederate statue on the lawn of the Calcasieu courthouse, according to a statement released Wednesday by Tony Guillory, police jury president.

The South’s Defenders Monument was erected in 1915 to honor the memory of Confederate veterans on the 50th anniversary of the end of the Civil War.

Amid the nationwide debate about removing Confederate monuments, a local attorney and a local judge last week called for the removal of Calcasieu’s monument.

“Because of passionate views from all sides regarding the monument, the Police Jury is in a period of active listening at this time,” Guillory said. “We are reaching out to people and groups in our communities to make sure we are hearing what the wide range of voices are saying. That is one of our most important roles as elected officials.”

Guillory’s full statement:

“The citizens of Calcasieu Parish are aware that a monument on the grounds of the Historic Calcasieu Parish Courthouse has existed for many years. Dedicated on June 3, 1915, the South’s Defenders Monument, as it is formally named, was erected on the 50th anniversary of the end of the Civil War to honor the memory of Confederate veterans.”

“The Police Jury understands that our parish, and indeed our whole nation, is currently experiencing a heightened level of discord on various matters related to race, including public policy and confederate monuments. The Police Jury also understands that our strength is ultimately defined by our ability to work together to build and maintain a strong community, and that this must include all of us, not just some of us.”

“Because of passionate views from all sides regarding the monument, the Police Jury is in a period of active listening at this time. We are reaching out to people and groups in our communities to make sure we are hearing what the wide range of voices are saying. That is one of our most important roles as elected officials.”

“During this period, we ask that all of our citizens display a mutual respect for differing opinions, and we ask for everyone’s support in our efforts to address this matter in a sincere and meaningful way. Thank you.”

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