Lt. Gov. seeks Trump's help to block statue removal

Lt. Gov. seeks Trump's help to block statue removal
Updated: Apr. 9, 2017 at 9:55 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser wants to make sure confederate era monuments aren't removed and said he's contacted President Trump for help.

The state's second in command said he's received numerous requests to block the removal from Louisiana voters and beyond.

"People are outraged. We're getting calls from all over the country," Nungesser said.

Nungesser said he's currently looking into ways his office might be able to block the removal and is asking for help from lawyers with the Attorney General's office.

He said, while legislation is making its way to the Capitol, he's concerned the two bills and an amendment may not survive the session.

"Some of the lawyers for the state are looking at it to see if the Lieutenant Governor's office has any grounds. I know a lot of people are hanging their hat on the legislation in Baton Rouge. My concerns are the committees that those bills are being put in are not favorable committees for those bills to get out of committee and we need to be honest about that," Nungesser said.

He said he's concerned the removal sets a precedent for other monuments across Louisiana, but in an interview in March with Take 'Em Down Nola, the group leading the effort to remove the statues, group leaders argue it's the only way to make things equal.

"When people talk about a slippery slope, I contend that those who have been subjugated, the majority of blacks in the city have been on the bottom end of a slippery slope for the past hundred plus years anyway," said Quess, an activist with the group.

"They want to change the name of Tulane University. Where does it stop? I think it's being led by a group of people that just want to erase history and it's unfortunate because it's put a divider in this community that didn't need to be there," Nungesser said.

But Take 'Em Down Nola contends the statues are the divider and the community can only be whole when they are gone.

"We keep it in that context and I understand that we still have a lot longer to go, a lot further to go. These were four, we've always been talking about much more. This whole city needs a reupholstering," Quess said in March.

It's why Nungesser is asking President Trump to declare the statues federal monuments and potentially make any talk of removal history.

"I wrote him a letter and I asked him to look out your window, look at the statute of Jackson there at the White House because Andrew Jackson in Jackson Square is next in New Orleans if we don't do something," Nungesser said.

FOX 8 reached out to the city of New Orleans for a comment but did get a response. In March, the city said the removal process would take 90 days.

Copyright 2017 WVUE. All rights reserved.