DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – A statue of a Texas Ranger inside Dallas Love Field airport was removed Thursday due to an excerpt from an upcoming book, officials said.
Officials said the “One Riot, One Ranger” statue, which was donated to the city in 1963, is a depiction of a Texas Ranger who will be mentioned in a forthcoming book.
A new book on the Rangers, “Cult of Glory,” offered chilling details about dark chapters of the Rangers’ history. The book by former Pulitzer Prize finalist Doug J. Swanson, a longtime reporter for The Dallas Morning News who is now on the University of Pittsburgh faculty, says the statue depicts Capt. Jay Banks. The captain was in charge of a Ranger contingent dispatched in 1957 by then-Gov. Allan Shivers to keep black students from enrolling in Mansfield’s high school High School and a Texarkana community college despite court rulings that should have prevented Shivers from doing so.
Swanson told his former newspaper that “Banks became sort of the face for that because there’s a famous picture of him leaning against a tree in front of Mansfield High School while a black figure hangs in effigy above the school, with Banks making no effort to take it down.
“And Banks sided with the mobs who were there to keep the black kids out. So, he was the face of that and of a statue that welcomes people to Dallas,” he said.
Swanson also noted the title “One Riot, One Ranger” came from a Ranger’s report of a scene at the Grayson County Courthouse in Sherman in 1930, when a black man stood trial for assaulting a white woman. The mob eventually set fire to the courthouse and roasted the black man alive after he sought refuge in a courthouse safe.
Officials said the decision was made by the Office of Arts and Culture and the airport to remove the statue and put it in storage “until a broader community dialogue about its display in a prominent location can take place.”
Pictures from the city show the statue being put into a harness and being lifted onto a cart earlier in the day.
According to the city, it received the statue before policies on extensive review of public art donations were in place.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)