Memphis City Council delays action on Confederate statues

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A third reading of an ordinance giving the Memphis City Council options to remove Confederate statues stalled Tuesday.

The final reading would have gotten the ball rolling for the city to put into place a plan to remove the Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue if the Tennessee Historical Commission decides not to hear their appeal.

This came at the advice of the council's attorney Allan Wade, who argued that it would be premature to approve the resolution.

The meeting for the historical commission is set for next Friday, Oct. 13, outside Chattanooga. Mayor Jim Strickland said he will be at the meeting.

For now, the city will wait.

"We're making the appropriate steps to try to make this happen, and happen as quickly, but also happen in a legal manner as well," council chairman Berlin Boyd said.

But the historical commission recently told the city they won't hear the appeal for another four months, at least.

A few days ago the city council attorney fired off his own letter, demanding the commission hear the city's case. The council wants to know if that will happen by Wednesday.

The fight over the Forrest and Jefferson Davis statues recently boiled back up but has been going on for years. Some argue they're intimidating and hateful to African Americans and they're a public nuisance. Others say they represent history.

Read: Letter to Historical Commission