• Memphis Greenspace given greenlight by Supreme Court to relocate confederate statues


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Big victory of the City of Memphis in it’s fight over the confederate statues.

    The Tennessee Supreme Court denied an appeal from the Sons of Confederate Veterans that filled a lawsuit to have the statues put back in parks.

    RELATED: Controversial play on Confederate statue removal will be performed at Health Sciences Park

    Now, the focus is what to do with the Bedford Forrest and Jefferson Davis statues.

    Greenspace which now owns the park has been reaching out to museums and other institutions to take ownership of the statues.

    The process had been put on hold because of the lawsuit.

    Removed and never to return to Shelby County.

    A short paragraph from the Tennessee Supreme Court denyed an appeal from the Sons of Confederate Veterans. 

    This means the City of Memphis strategy to sell public parks to a nonprofit and removing the confederate statues has passed a final legal challenge.

    Van Turner, president of Greenspace, told FOX13, “I think it is a win.  Not a win for Greenspace or the City of Memphis. It is a win for the residents of Memphis and Shelby County.”

    Turner FOX13 the focus can now shift to finding a new location for the statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and former KKK leader and confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

    Greenspace had reached out to museums and institutions to see if they wanted them, but the threat of an appeal removed any interest.

    Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.


    Trending stories:

    "We are seeking to transfer those monuments outside of Shelby County.  Where they land is where they land.  Our sole interest is that they not land within the boundaries of Shelby County,” Turner explained.

    There is still another lawsuit filed by the descendants of Forrest for the historical markers, pedestal, graves of the general and his wife, according to these court papers filed in Shelby County Chancery Court. 

    Now Turner can focus on trying to reach an out of court settlement with family but honors Forrest's final wishes to buried among his men at Elmwood Cemetery.

    "I think the wishes of the Forrest family should be respected and the will should be respected and hopefully we can get it resolved."

    City Attorney Bruce McMullenn released a statement that said this decision effectively ends this litigation.

    The leader of the Memphis Sons of Confederate Veterans sent us a text that reads, “we have still legal options, but would not elaborate when pressed to explain.”


    Next Up: