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Tuskegee councilman says he’s ‘broken no law’ trying to remove Confederate monument

The monument was cut with an electric saw on July 7.
The monument was cut with an electric saw on July 7.(Source: WSFA)
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 6:57 PM CDT
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TUSKEGEE, Ala. (WSFA) - Councilman and former Mayor Johnny Ford was back out on the Tuskegee town square Friday, two days after he and at least one other individual attempted to cut down the city’s Confederate monument with an electric saw.

Ford claims that because the incident occurred during the day and had public support, it was not vandalism.

“I am not a vandal,” Ford said. “I didn’t do this in the middle of the night. We did it in broad daylight.”

“Our goal is not to vandalize the statue but to bring the statue down,” he added. “I have broken no law.”

While Ford claimed taking a blade to the statue’s leg was legal, authorities said otherwise.

“It’s against the law whether you do it night or daytime,” Macon County Sheriff Andre’ Brunson said. “The charges that he has is against the law.”

Brunson has been in communication with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, who we are told own the monument.

“I actually spoke to their lawyer today,” he said.

We reached out to the organization for a statement and have not received one.

As for Ford, he says his mission of removing the controversial structure will continue.

“Our plans is to see the statue taken down, leave the base, rework the base and cover up the Confederacy part of it,” the councilman said.

He said his plan is for residents to select a new figure to stand in the center of the square.

“A Lewis Adams, a Rosa Parks, a Tuskegee Airman, or some other famous hero or shero,” he said.

We have heard no word on charges yet, but the sheriff said no one is exempt from following the rules, not even a former mayor.

“Just going to put it out there that nobody’s above the law,” Brunson said.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.