A Louisiana judge denied a request Tuesday from a black defendant to move his trial due to a Confederate statue located by the courthouse.
Judge Kathryn Jones rejected black defendant Ronnie Anderson’s request to have his trial moved due to the presence of a statue of an unnamed Confederate soldier in front of the East Feliciana Parish courthouse, reported The Washington Post.
Anderson and his attorney Niles Haymer termed the monument a “symbol of oppression and racial intolerance,” but Jones denied their request on the basis that it was filed too late. The judge did, however, also vacate Anderson’s possession of a firearm as a convicted felon charge, leaving the defendant with only a traffic ticket.
District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla told WaPo that he plans on charging Anderson with one of the felonies again in September.
“We have a great community and all elected officials constantly strive to suppress racial inequality,” D’Aquilla told The Advocate in July. “Filing a motion to change venue for this reason is insulting.”
“He’s still adamant that if he has to come back to that courthouse he will want me to file that same motion again,” Haymer said, noting that he would refile the request for a change of venue if the opportunity arose.
Jones declined to comment on whether she would have accepted Anderson and Haymer’s request for a change in venue if it had been submitted on time, when speaking with The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Former New Orleans Democratic Mayor Mitch Landrieu removed four Confederate statues in the capital in 2017, sometimes under cover of darkness. (RELATED: New Orleans Uproots Third Confederate Statue In Early Morning Operation)
The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation awarded Landrieu a Profile in Courage Award for his action.
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