No Decision in the Case of the Covered Confederate Monument

Esther Ciammachilli, WBHM

Mayor William Bell ordered the black plywood go up to cover the base of this Confederate monument in Linn Park.

The base of a Confederate monument in Linn Park will remain covered for now. Jefferson County Judge Mike Graffeo did not make a decision after hearing arguments from the City of Birmingham and the state Attorney General’s Office.

The state sued Birmingham last year, saying that the city violated the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act in 2017 by covering the base of the monument to Confederate Soldiers and Sailors. It also said Birmingham should pay a fine of $25,000 a day for that violation.

Birmingham argued that the city, at the direction of former Mayor William Bell, covered the monument to protect it, following an outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, connected to controversy over Confederate Monuments. Lawyers also said the monument was offensive to many in Birmingham, a city whose population is 70 percent black.

Graffeo asked lawyers to present additional written arguments within the next month. He will make a ruling after reviewing the arguments.