Gwinnett Solicitor Brian Whiteside said he plans by the end of the week to file a request to remove a Confederate memorial statue in Lawrenceville.
The call comes after a DeKalb County judge ordered a monument in Decatur to be taken down last week. Since then, two Gwinnett Democrats — county commission candidate Kirkland Carden and Nabilah Islam, who ran for Congress in the 7th District — started a petition asking that the Lawrenceville monument be taken down. It has nearly 1,000 signature.
Whiteside said he doesn’t have the authority to take the monument down on his own. But since someone stenciled “Black Lives Matter” on the monument, he said he can request to remove it to protect it. Whiteside also said he worried the statue, which was erected in 1993, could be a flash point for violence in a planned July 12 protest in the city.
“It’s wise to preemptively move forward and take this statue down,” he said. “A monument is merely a symbol. It needs to be in a proper setting.”
The petition asks Gwinnett County commissioners to remove it. Lawrenceville’s city manager, Chuck Warbington, said the statue sits on county property. A spokesperson for the county did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.