SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Work is underway on the construction of a box around the Confederate monument outside the Caddo Parish Courthouse in downtown Shreveport.
The construction of the box was approved by the Caddo Parish Commission in a special meeting last week after Commissioner Stormy Gage-Watts made the motion to put it up in order to diffuse racial tensions that have arisen in recent weeks amid protests and counter-protests focused on the monument until a final resolution could be reached in a court case over its removal.
That final resolution came on Monday, with a settlement reached between the parish and the Shreveport chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy that will allow the monument to be moved off of the courthouse lawn to another location at the expense of the parish, although at least one commissioner has raised concerns about taxpayers footing the cost of relocating and reinstalling a monument that is a tribute to the Confederacy.
The enclosure was originally supposed to be completed by Friday, July 17 at midnight, but work was delayed after a structural engineer said further design was needed before they could start building the box.
“I understand boarding it up and things of that nature to prevent vandalism. In my opinion, I think that’s a good idea. I’m not really sure what my thoughts are as far as being removed completely because I do feel like it’s a part of history. I know as a white person I can’t really empathize from the viewpoint of an African-American how they feel about it or how they view it,” said Shreveport resident Milam Capes.”
The measure approved by the parish commission calls for the American flag to be displayed on the north side of the box, the Louisiana flag on the south side, the Shreveport flag on the east side, and the Caddo Parish flag on the west.
Will James has led protests calling for the statue’s removal.
“It’s tentative. It was announced two years ago that it will be removed. I’m of the mindset I’ll believe it when I see it,” James said.