Judge: Removal of Memphis Confederate statues legal

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A ruling has been reached for Memphis' Confederate monuments.

The statues of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis were removed in late December after Memphis Greenspace bought the parks that housed the statues.

Wednesday, a judge ruled the removal of the Confederate monuments last year was legal.

The judge ruled that a 2016 state law protecting Confederate monuments in public parks does not apply to the monuments removed from two Memphis parks.

That's because the sale to private non-profit Greenspace transferred the location of the statues from public to private property.

The judge also put a stay on the ruling through July 27 to allow the Sons of Confederate Veterans to appeal. It has to be secured with $5,000 bond by the group.

Mayor Jim Strickland posted within the last hour, saying the ruling proved what the city has said from the start--that everything was handled in a lawful manner.

Sons of Confederate Veterans said they have not yet had a chance to read the ruling but will continue efforts to save and preserve the statues.

Copyright 2018 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.