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Forrest family, Sons of Confederate Veterans sue over takedown of Memphis statues


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Forrest family, Sons of Confederate Veterans sue over takedown of Memphis statues

Ryan Poe, USA TODAY NETWORK – TennesseePublished 9:58 a.m. CT Jan. 12, 2018 | Updated 2:17 p.m. CT Jan. 12, 2018

The family of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Sons of Confederate Veterans filed a petition Wednesday seeking legal action against the city of Memphis for its role in taking down three Confederate statues last month.

More: Seventh case dismissed in protest at Confederate statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest in Memphis

The petition, filed with the Tennessee Historical Commission, accuses the city and nonprofit Memphis Greenspace Inc. of violating "numerous" state laws on Dec. 20, when Greenspace removed the Forrest statue from its pedestal atop his and his wife's graves in Health Sciences Park, and statues of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and war correspondent and Capt. J. Harvey Mathes from Fourth Bluff Park.

'You can't disturb graves'

The petition asks the commission to rule that the city and Greenspace violated the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, which requires commission approval prior to removal of monuments from public property; laws against misconduct by elected officials; and laws prohibiting the desecration of gravesites.

After the commission rejected the city's application for a waiver to remove the Forrest statue in October, the city sold the parks to Greenspace for $1,000 each without prior public notice of the sale,  :snip: 

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