IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - A coalition of people and groups in Iredell County have filed a lawsuit seeking the removal of a Confederate monument that stands in front of the county’s government center.
The lawsuit was filed Tuesday against the County, the County Board of Commissioners, and the commissioners themselves in Iredell County Superior Court. The plaintiffs, made up of a multi-racial coalition of county residents, state and local NAACP chapters, and a local clergy group.
A release from the group alleges the Confederate monument “celebrates slavery, secession, and white supremacy while posing a threat to public safety and draining the public purse, all in violation of multiple provisions of the North Carolina Constitution.”
DOCUMENT: Click here to read the entire lawsuit
“Many Iredell County residents have called for the Confederate Monument’s removal, recognizing the continuing threat to public safety it poses and the continuing pain to Iredell County’s Black residents it inflicts,” the release states.
It continues, “In fact, on March 3 of this year, the Iredell County Board of Commissioners voted to remove the Confederate Monument, admitting in their Resolution that the Monument ‘occupied a prominent position in front of the justice system during a period of Jim Crow laws, segregation and endemic discrimination against African-Americans,’ and that, for Black residents, the monument ‘continues to serve as a reminder of policies of oppression, having their roots in the system of slavery that existed in the Confederate States of America.’ But, after voting to remove the Monument, the Iredell County Board of Commissioners changed their mind and brought about the need for this lawsuit.”
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Army Veteran Christopher A. “Skip” McCall, who served in the Vietnam War, and Reverend Robert Wright Lee IV, a descendant of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. The Iredell Clergy for Healing and Justice and three chapters of the NAACP are also named.
Those plaintiffs are being represented by David and Carey Parker from the Parker Law Offices in Statesville, a team of attorneys from the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP, former N.C. Deputy Attorney General Hampton Dellinger, Cheyenne N. Chambers and Abraham Rubert-Schewel of Tin Fulton Walker & Owen in Charlotte and Stuart M. Paynter and Gagan Gupta of Paynter Law in Hillsborough.
On Wednesday, Iredell County Manager Beth Mull said the matter was being reviewed by legal counsel, and that the County had no comment to release.