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Indy mayor announces plans to dismantle, remove Confederate monument in Garfield Park

Posted at 12:04 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 23:16:14-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Mayor Joe Hogsett announced Thursday that the Confederate Monument at Garfield Park will be dismantled.

The announcement comes amid civil unrest in the city of Indianapolis and across the nation as protesters take to the streets to speak out against racial injustice and recent officer-involved killings.

“Our streets are filled with voices of anger and anguish, testament to centuries of racism directed at Black Americans,” said Mayor Hogsett. “We must name these instances of discrimination and never forget our past – but we should not honor them. Whatever original purpose this grave marker might once have had, for far too long it has served as nothing more than a painful reminder of our state’s horrific embrace of the Ku Klux Klan a century ago. For some time, we have urged that this grave monument belongs in a museum, not in a park, but no organization has stepped forward to assume that responsibility. Time is up, and this grave marker will come down.”

The grave monument was commissioned in 1912 in Greenlawn Cemetery to commemorate Confederate prisoners of war who died while imprisoned at Camp Morton in Indianapolis. It was moved to Garfield Park in 1928 following efforts by public officials, active in the KKK, who sought to “make the monument more visible to the public.” In 2017, the Indianapolis Parks Board passed a resolution to remove the monument once funding was secured.

The city is identifying a source of funding, with the expected cost of the project ranging from approximately $50,000 - $100,000.