A lawsuit filed against the City of Memphis and Memphis Greenspace claims they desecrated the grave site of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife Mary.
Lee Millar represents the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the Forrest family.
Nearly a year ago, the removal of the Forrest statue started a legal battle.
“What the city did was illegal and violated several state laws and the heritage protection act,” Millar said.
On Tuesday, the Sons of Confederate Veterans announced they are suing the City of Memphis, Memphis City Council, and Memphis Greenspace Inc.
Memphis Greenspace purchased the park from the City of Memphis.
“I think the people who criticize and want to tear down historical items and statues, they just don’t understand history and have a lack of education,” Millar said.
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Millar said individual city council members, Mayor Jim Strickland, and several others knowingly desecrated Forrest’s gravesite and headstone.
Shelby County Commissioner Van Turner leads Memphis Greenspace.
“If we are talking about the wrong that was done, I think we must take it back all the way to the beginning. We want to what’s right by everyone,” Turner said.
The statue is currently property of Memphis Greenspace.
Turner said due to a court injunction the statue is in a private secured area owned by the city.
Millar and Turner explained to FOX13 why mediation never took place.
“I haven’t heard from them since last year,” Millar said.
“When you send over a request for $30 million, part of the mediation process is that you mediate in good faith,” Turner said.
Turner said removing the remains of Forrest and his wife from the park is still a possibility.
“We will remind everyone that General Forrest’s last will and testament he wanted to be buried in Elmwood with his wife,” said Turner.
Memphis Greenspace said they will commemorate the year anniversary of the Statue being taken down at the park and at the National Civil Rights Museum on Thursday.
Cox Media Group