Gwinnett County

Group demands removal of Confederate statue in Lawrenceville

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A group rallied in Lawreceville Sunday to call for the removal of a confederate monument.

Channel 2′s Audrey Washington was at the Lawrenceville square in Gwinnett County, where a petition to remove the monument already has more than a thousand signatures.

The statue, which was a gift from the local Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy Groups, was erected in 1993. It's called "Lest We Forget" and reads:

"In remembrance of the citizens of Gwinnett County who honorably served the Confederate States of America."

Today, it's covered by a Black Lives Matter sign and photos of Black people killed in recent months including Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot and killed by two white men in Georgia in February.

Now, the county's solicitor filed a request to have the monument removed from the square, saying that it's a "public nuisance."

The group Alliance for Black Lives held the rally.

They told Washington that they feel like the monument isn't just a nuisance, but only serves to honor traitors to this country and to instill fear in African Americans.

“We want it removed,” Dr. Tarece with Alliance for Black Lives said. “It’s a symbol of hate and it’s a sign of terror.”

“Your history is absolutely your right,” rally organizer Samina Abdulle said. “But you have to be on the right side of history. We’re making sure our square and community spaces are hate free.

The filing notes that the monument is near the location of where a man named Charlie Hale was lynched in 1911.

On Sunday night, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter issued a statement calling for the statue to be removed.

“I was proud to attend today’s rally, as well as add my name to the petition asking Gwinnett’s Board of Commissioners to remove the Confederate monument,” Porter said. “I fully support this peaceful effort and believe the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center would be a more appropriate venue than outside this courthouse.”