Nathan Bedford Forrest statue vandalized with ‘Black Lives Matter’

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The monument to Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest has again been targeted by vandals.

Over the weekend, someone sprayed the words " Black Lives Matter" on the concrete base supporting the statue of Forrest on horseback.

Forrest and his wife buried in the base of the monument, which Memphis City leaders want removed from UT's Health Sciences Park.

The spray paint incident comes one year after the death of 18-year old Michael Brown.

Mike Junior is a distant cousin of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, "Not sure if the compound I have is strong enough..."

Junior came to the monument with cleaning tools in hand.

He was outraged to see vandals struck again.

"Immediately I decided to take off work and come down here and clean it up, do the best that I can," Junior said.

He's all too aware of the controversy surrounding the monument and how Memphis City leaders want it moved.

"How would you like it for somebody wanting to dig up your relatives or your family or your child. It's sickening."

It didn't take long for images of the vandalism to show up on wreg.com and other social media.

Just about everyone passing by the monument wanted a closer look.

One of them was Kirstin Cheers of Memphis, "I actually saw it on Facebook. a few of my friends posted pictures on Facebook."

She said she supports what the message stands for, "I think it's very symbolic. And I wish that our city and our country can actually start having a conversation about "Black Lives Matter."

She said regardless of whether this is the "right" way or "wrong" way to get the message out, it certainly got attention.

This is the second time in less than a month someone defaced the monument:

In July, we told you about a group of activists who removed a shovel of dirt from the grave site.

Lee Millar represents the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Members of the group help maintain the monument, and Millar wishes something could be done to stop the vandalism.

He said it would be helpful to have security cameras installed, but it doesn't look like that will happen, "The UT Police monitors the park, but of course they have other duties. They can't keep an eye on it all the time. But it looks like somebody needs to monitor all the parks, all the time.

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