October 28, 2020

Alabama city fined for covering up Confederate monument

Birmingham will pay a $25,000 fine for obstructing the view of a Confederate monument, a judge ordered last week under the direction of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Circuit Judge Marshell Jackson Hatcher imposed the $25,000 fine that had been ordered by the state’s high court.

Justices in November ruled that Birmingham violated a state law protecting historic monuments. Justices directed the circuit judge to enter an order declaring that Birmingham violated the 2017 Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, and to fine the city $25,000.

Alabama sued Birmingham in 2017 after municipal officials in the majority black city erected a wooden box obscuring the inscriptions on a 52-foot-tall obelisk honoring Confederate veterans.

The 2017 Alabama Memorial Preservation Act prohibits relocating, removing, altering or renaming public buildings, streets and memorials that have been standing for more than 40 years.

The legislation doesn’t specifically mention Confederate monuments, but it was enacted as some Southern states and cities began removing monuments and emblems of the Confederacy.