The City of Mobile acted under the cover of dark last night to remove an historic statue of Admiral Raphael Semmes from its place of honour near the Bankhead Tunnel. Upon inquiry, a spokesperson at the Mayor’s office stated that they were given no information about the removal until this morning, and were instructed that the removal was due to intel that the statue was targeted for further vandalisation. When asked when the statue would be going back up, the spokesperson said that the Mayor was addressing the issue on a day by day basis.
The statue was targeted by a vandal earlier this week when 20 year-old Mitchell Bond spray painted a nearly illegible “Confed scum” and a nonsensical “we built it, help them rebuild.” He has since been convicted of a Class A Misdemeanor for the act.
Journalists tried to bait the police chief into siding with the vandals, but he carried himself well:
The chief, who is black, was asked he had any sympathy for Bond for defacing what some see as a monument to slavery and oppression.
“My job is to stand in the gap for law and order regardless of how I feel personally about any of this here, I take my job seriously and I serve all the people of the city of Mobile,” said Battiste.
However, the City of Mobile has expressed interest in removing the monument:
The City of Mobile’s spokesperson George Talbot said it would take conversation with several party’s at the table.
“Any decision on moving it would be collaborative in nature. There is a process for that, and we are listening to the community’s voice as part of that process,” he said in a statement.
Whether the removal is a pretense and the Mayor is lying about protecting the monument remains to be seen.
The monument was dedicated to the war hero in 1900.