Removal Of Robert E. Lee Statue Halted

UPDATED | September 6, 2017  9:00 PM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) –  A temporary restraining order was granted late Wednesday afternoon preventing the Robert. E. Lee statue at Lee Park in Dallas from coming down.

Work crews had spent more than an hour beginning to take down the monument.

The plaintiff is Hiram Patterson.

U.S. District Judge Sidney Fitzwater granted the motion for the temporary restraining order.

Patterson’s attorney, Kirk Lyons, said Patterson is a Dallas resident and taxpayer and member of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans.

Lyons told KRLD-AM, “We believe there’s a federal first amendment question that gives us federal jurisdiction. We filed a temporary restraining order and Judge Fitzwater signed it at 3:34 p.m. today and an hour later we served it on the minions of the city who were trying to take Lee down and apparently we stopped it at the last second.”

Here is Patterson’s original complaint:

The complaint states: “The Confederate Monument was erected to express a controversial political opinion.  The City’s plan to remove the Monument in a matter of hours is an imminent and unconstitutional attempt to curtail free speech by ordaining what mute political symbols must mean. The City’s planned suppression of the Monuments’ political speech is a first step in a totalitarian move to determine authorized forms of political communication and to punish unauthorized political speech.  The City has expressed no compelling interest in the abridgment of this core political speech.”

Lyons also said, “They were put there to honor the dead and the thousands of men that didn’t come back from that war that wore grey uniforms and it has nothing to do with white supremacy or Jim Crowe or any of that.”

Police officers had been stationed at the park as crews brought in a crane to remove the statue as about 25 people watched.

None appeared to protest the move.

“It’s just something that belongs here. It’s just amazing that we can just dismiss it,” said one woman who came to watch the statue’s removal. “And that’s none of the city’s business to have that opinion. They’re politicians. They don’t get that kind of free speech.”

“It was not put up to glorify Robert E. Lee. It was put up to demoralize and insult black people,” another woman countered.

Earlier in the day, the Dallas City Council voted 13 to 1 to authorize immediate removal of the statue and transport it to Hensley Field in Dallas for storage.

Dozens of people — more than 50 total — signed up to speak to the city council about this issue. Mayor Mike Rawlings allowed each of them to have one minute to speak prior to council members discussing the resolution. Those speakers continued until just after 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday.

“What we do is important,” Rawlings said at Wednesday’s meeting, “but how we do it is equally important.”

The newly passed resolution makes it against city policy to display Confederate monuments in public or to name public places after Confederate figures. The measure directs city staff members to remove the Robert E. Lee statue from Lee Park and safely store it out of public view.

City council members Dwaine Caraway and Tenell Atkins previously said that it would be up to city manager T.C. Broadnax to determine how quickly the Robert E. Lee statue could be taken down. Broadnax had declined to discuss specifics, but said that he was already prepared for when the resolution passed.

The process of removal, that started and stopped Wednesday, is estimated to cost around $500,000 if it happens.

7f5e6027e1084c0cb405bdc31d200974 Removal Of Robert E. Lee Statue Halted

(credit: CBSDFW.COM)

A task force had been appointed to investigate this issue. Several of the speakers on Wednesday said that they wanted the task force to have time to complete their work before any action was taken. One council member motioned to delay any vote until November, but that proposal failed.

The Dallas Police Department said that they were aware of Wednesday’s vote, and the potential for protests afterward. Several people have already started gathering around the Robert E. Lee statue, and a barricade has been set up around the monument in order to keep the situation from getting out of hand.

Former state representative Will Hartnett was in favor of saving the monument. “It’s a very valuable statue,” he stated. “This is history we’re talking about saving. Also, I’m a Dallas taxpayer, and I’m not excited about $1.2 million plus being burned to move these statues.”

Another group dubbed Dallas Citizens For Unity and Reconciliation was also against removing the monument. The group had suggested several compromises which included renaming Lee Park and placing a plaque to detail the historical perspective of the Robert E. Lee statue.

The organization that cares for the park, Lee Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy, said “…There are established and lengthy protocols for park naming. We are hoping that process can be expedited, and the Council will simply return the park’s moniker to Oak Lawn Park which was the original designation of the property when the park was established in the early 1900’s.”

In the meantime, it appears the barricades will stay up around Lee Park.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Brittany Jeffers

One Comment

  1. Lee Komic says:

    What a waste of money. Under 100 people out of Million+ in the city complaining what tools yall are.

  2. So, if 50 people come forward and demand the all Martin Luther King statures, street names, and all building to be removed; then they would come down?

    1. Why rewrite History if you can learn from it? Can I get a refund for my education if everything is null and void these days??

  3. Send the money to Houston instead, for crying out loud!!!

  4. Just like ISIS and Taliban…destroying historic artifacts for political reasons.

    What pure, repulsive human garbage.

  5. We had best remove all statues of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and many more as well as they were slave owners. Then may we have any statues of Obama or street names be removed as he was firmly against Gay marriage as was Hillary (before they politically evolved). Then we have Bill Clinton and Robert KKK Byrd both hardcore advocates of Fulbright an avowed racist. And then we have Martin Luther King, today which would be considered an absolute bigot considering his stand on Gays. Lest we forget Lee freed his slaves, Ulysses Grant was forced to free his. Lee also said: “slavery as an institution, is a moral and political evil in any country.”

    Are we living in an insane country or what.

  6. If you read a bio of Robert E Lee you will quickly realize he was…….oh 10 times the man ol’ Mayor Mike Rawlings could ever be. He spoke freely about the evils of slavery when it was very difficult for him to so. Ol’ Mike back during that time would have likely owened a couple of slave of his own.

  7. Samual Colt says:

    The blacks would be better served looking up the real culprits that lead to their own demise.
    But going back that far would require a BOLO on 28 generations of missing in action paternity cases.

  8. Dale Warren says:

    Mount a recall of every elected official who jumps on the insane anti-American revisionist history bandwagon in an attempt to rewrite history. Nothing gets the attention of politicians like their own personal unemployment.

  9. The mayor is an idiot. Dallas will never be better tomorrow with the Lee statue gone. It will be better only when he and the entire city council are voted out of office and especially “Plastic Bag” Caraway! Progressive little morons are ruining the whole State of Texas.

  10. Rob Miller says:

    Meanwhile, we have statues of Lenin and all sorts of statues, street names, and public buildings honoring anti-semite, segregationist and racist Malcolm X, who actually midwifed an alliance between the Nation of Islam and the the 1960’s.

    I don’t hear any ruckus about changing that, which should tell you how hypocritical and politically motivated this is. I expected Texans to have more common sense, but then I remembered that Dallas is Democrat run.

    Rest assured that this isn’t going to end here. Washington and Jefferson have already been targeted, and a bust of Lincoln – in Illinois, of all places- has already been vandalized. A nation who does not respect its past is headed for tyranny.

  11. So, when are all statues, memorials, and street names of slave owner and anti-abolitionist Sam Houston coming down in Texas? Just sayin’

    1. “So, when are all statues, memorials, and street names of slave owner and anti-abolitionist Sam Houston coming down in Texas? Just sayin’ ”

      Then they had better change the name of the fourth largest city in the USA, too… the one that got inundated by Hurricane Harvey. God forbid that an entire metropolitan area be named after such an “EVIL MAN”… right??

  12. Kenneth Neil says:

    Take the money out of diversity projects which is only fair because this is justification for removing in the first place.

  13. What utter nonsense. That 500K coue than yilting with windmills.

  14. I find it very disheartening that with our State facing billions of dollars in damages and hundreds of thousands of our families displaced lacking even the basics of shelter, clothing and food…that the most important thing Dallas finds to spend $500K for is removing a statue.

  15. Jeff Little says:

    Rawlings, you are a fool. You should be ashamed of yourself, you self-righteous, revisionist. You make me sick.

  16. Anne Irving says:

    your state is suffering the greatest natural disaster in history and this is what you are focusing on. shame on you Dallas.

  17. Given that Mayor Mike Rawlins and many others on the city council are Democrats, I am not surprised they want to hide their racist past as a means of helping them obscure their racist present. I’d like to remove all monuments to virtueless Democrats everywhere; they are such a corrupting and debasing influence on everything they touch. But it is inconceivable that this could cost $500K. Let me guess: John Wiley Price is a co-owner of the company with the contract to remove the statue, and that company’s bid was only $480K more than the next highest bid.

  18. We need to do more to appease black thugs. I’m sure once we’ve paid enough ransom, the criminality will stop.

  19. Cristu Doulo says:

    Black Lives Matter and the rest of these anti-confederate clowns are actually socialist marxist front organizations.

    Whether you are black or white, when you understand that, then you’ll understand the problem is not about skin color, the KKK or confederate monuments.

    And the only ones really pushing the removal are Rawlings and Caraway – they make Dumb & Dumber look like Einstein & Edison…

  20. Rusty Taylor says:

    These sick liberal pukes shot be shot for treason. How is this happening in America?

  21. “Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” G. Orwell 1984/Dallas Texas 2017

  22. Icepilot says:

    With malice towards some …

  23. The Democrats have decided that Antifa and BLM are part of their coalition. The MSM will not be able to provide cover for their antics despite upcoming valiant attempts to do so. This will not end well for the Left and will drive even more Americans away from them in the end. The Democratic Party is losing huge swaths of middle America and aligning themselves with these miscreants will not help.

    Fortunately, real Americans took our country back from these traitors on Nov 8th. Us “deplorables” wanted our jobs and our nation back! Our healthcare was too expensive. Mine is $700/month now (thanks to Obamacare). My car insurance is still $25 per month (from Insurance Panda), but what are the Democrats plans for that? If you look at Democrat strongholds like Detroit and New Orleans, car insurance will run you $300+ per month!

    Please protect us, Trump! I fear the media’s and politicians’ support for antifa and BLM will embolden these groups in greater acts of violence.

  24. If majority rules why are the monuments being removed – I vote DO NOT REMOVE THEM

  25. Taking down the statue is showing respect for people who live here now that could be offended by what that statue celebrates. By the way, if I lived in Germany and was a descendent of Nazi military, and tried to put up a statue of Hitler I would be arrested.

    1. Your kidding right? Someones sensitivities is more important than the erasing of our history? Lincoln offends me. He wanted to send all blacks back to Africa. Let’s remove all reference to Lincoln pronto.

  26. Rawlings is intentionally deceitful. As recent as August 16, 2017, In Office of the Mayor Biography, is stated, “he (Rawlings) took the helm of the world’s largest pizza company, Pizza Hut, and grew it to record sales.” Pizza Hut is owned by YUM! Brands. Here are the facts taken from the YUM! Brand annual reports during his years of employment: Pizza Hut, owned by YUM! Brands may have been the world’s largest pizza company but it was not the division of YUM! Brands of which Rawlings “took the helm.” He became only the president of Pizza Hut USA, a portion of the worldwide company.

    Furthermore, while he was at the “helm” the sales of Pizza Hut USA went from 8,640 billion dollars in 1997 to 7,599 billion dollars in 2002. That is a reduction in sales of more than a billion dollars. Pizza Hut USA did not have record growth when he was at the helm. Pizza Hut USA had a record decline during his executive tenure. He was forced to resign in November of 2002. And this failure is now the mayor of Dallas.

  27. Way to go Mr. Patterson. I take my hat off to you. Outrageous to take down a historical statue. George Orwell would be shaking his head and amazed how close to reality his writings are. Talk about Stalinism and the cleansing of one’s past. The hoot is that Lee was opposed to slavery and one of the few with the courage to speak out against it. His tortured allegiance with the south is well known if you have any knowledge of history. Lee was a fine man and history will set that straight. Meanwhile Rawlings will always be a jerk.

  28. More commonly, people who had incurred the displeasure of the Party simply disappeared and were never heard of again.” – George Orwell, 1984

  29. The issue is not the monuments they need to be left alone! The issue is groups like the #KKK #Antifa #BackLivesMatter #FreedomFromReligionFoudation #BlackPanthers #AntiTrumpProtesters #FeministRightsGroups and #TheMuslimBrotherhood have given into the devil’s lie that it is okay to hate! We need to love everyone like #Jesus does and not look down on their differences!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Watch & Listen LIVE