Lauderdale County sheriff says people who cross barricades around monument could be arrested

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FLORENCE, Ala. — A Confederate monument in Florence continues to be a topic of conversation.

Protesters have called for its removal and relocation for years, but the Lauderdale County Commission said they won’t adopt a resolution because of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.

Nothing has changed in regard to moving the monument, however, Sheriff Rick Singleton has become more vocal on the penalty for those who cross barricades surrounding the statue.

The barricades were placed around the monument months ago. The sheriff said this was done because the statue was defaced with chalk and became the target of possible vandalism and destruction based on social media posts.

Singleton said his office can’t enforce the law that prevents the statue from being moved because it’s a civil violation and not criminal, however, he said they do have a responsibility to protect the courthouse and the courthouse grounds.

“If they cross the barricade, then they’re in violation of criminal trespassing second, which basically states that if the area’s been fenced off as to prohibit anyone or restrict anyone from entering that area, then they’re in violation of criminal trespassing,” Singleton said.

The sheriff said at this time, no one has been arrested for crossing the barricades. He said those who would like to see the monument moved should contact their state representative.

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