The Alfred Mouton statue may soon be removed from its place in downtown Lafayette.
On Friday morning, The United Daughters of the Confederacy and the City of Lafayette reached a settlement on the removal of the General Alfred Mouton Statue.
According to court records, the settlement will give the city of Lafayette the ability to remove the General Mouton statue from its poisition on 735 Jefferson Street to another location. That location will be determined by the United Daughters of the Confederacy Alfred Mouton Chapter.
The entire statue, including the marble base will be removed. Only the concrete base beneath the marble will be left.
The city has been ordered to remove, transport, and deliver the statue to the location the UDC decides.
The UDC will have 45 days to provide information on where the statue will be placed and provide the city with invoices for the cost of designing and constructing a new base and insurance policies for the removal and transport of the statue.
Lafayette is ordered to pay up to $25,000 in total for these purposes.
The judgment says that if the UDC does not provide the information to the city of Lafayette in 45 days, the city can remove and dispose of the statue in any way they see fit.
The issue, in an ongoing lawsuit, was whether or not the city could move the Jim Crow-era statue from its current position at the corner of Lee and Jefferson streets, in front of the old City Hall. Mayor Josh Guillory had said he believed the statue should be moved to a museum or other facility in order to preserve it; and indeed earlier this year someone broke the nose off the statue's face.
After agreeing to the settlement, there will be no trial.
Move the Mindset, a local advocacy group, is holding a press conference at 2:00 pm today to address the settlement at the site of the statue. KATC is live at the press conference:
"I am just overjoyed," Fred Prejean with Move the Mindset said. "It’s unbelievable that in a conservative red city like Lafayette they would recognize that the statue doesn’t belong in our city. I’m going to give them credit for taking the action.
"Lafayette, we have made history, thanks to the 16 litigants as well as our legal team and the cooperation of the City Council as well as the Mayor-President's Office and the many supporters Move the Mindset has had backing us up."
Lafayette Mayor President Josh Guillory released a statement on the Friday update.
“Our nation has long recognized that we are endowed by God of certain unalienable rights. Many in our nation’s history have fought and died so that this awesome liberty is realized by all of our people.
The statue in downtown Lafayette is not a statue that honors the valor of the Opelousas-born Confederate general, Alfred Mouton. It is a Jim Crow statue erected 99 years ago to intimidate an entire class of people. The hate of the Jim Crow era does not represent the values of our community, and a statue that glorifies that cause is wrong. We can honor our past and heritage without hurting an entire group of our people.
I am very thankful for all parties involved in this process. I pray for the soul of Alfred Mouton. I pray for the descendants of the Mouton family, and I am thankful for the contributions of Alfred’s grandfather, Jean Mouton, to our city and parish.
We, as a country, are closer now more than ever to recognizing the written goal of our Founders in that all of our people are born equal, and no government at any level in the United States should honor a cause that allowed one group to deny this American birthright to another.
May God be with us, and I ask that He bestow wisdom and blessings upon our great community and nation.”
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