Mayor Gray says Lexington "prepared for incidents" surrounding possible relocation of Confederate-era statues

08/15/2017 04:38 PM

LEXINGTON — Lexington Mayor Jim Gray say law enforcement is prepared for violence should any incidents arise surrounding the proposed relocation of two Confederate-era statues from the grounds at the former Fayette County Court House on Main Street.

Comments from Gray, D-Lexington, come the same day that the Lexington Herald Leader is reporting white nationalists plan on holding a rally in the city.

“Ours is a caring and giving and compassionate city,” Gray said in an interview with Pure Politics on Tuesday afternoon.

“Our city is also one that is disciplined,” he continued. “Our police are disciplined and they are prepared. And, we will be prepared for incidents — we’re prepared for incidents every day.”

On Saturday, Gray called for the Lexington Fayette County Urban County Council to take the first step in seeking to relocate the statues of John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan.

Violence initially erupted in Charlottesville, VA between white nationalists and counter-protestors over plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. One person was killed and 19 injured after a group of counter-protestors were struck by a car on Saturday.

Following the violence, Gray explained he was compelled to accelerate his timeline to relocate the two statues. He said that the historical contexts of the site where the statues are located are “sacred ground.”

The statues currently stand at the site of a former slave auction block.

On Tuesday, Gov. Matt Bevin said he believes it’s “a dangerous precedent” to begin removing Confederate monuments and ignore U.S. history.

Gray responded to that line of thinking saying simply, “we’ve proposed to relocate these statues and not to hide history or to erase history, but to learn from history.”


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