Port Allen native Shelton Berry created a petition addressed to the West Baton Rouge Parish Council asking for the removal of the Henry Watkins Allen statue on the West Baton Rouge Parish Courthouse grounds. Allen is the namesake of the City of Port Allen who served as the Confederate Governor of Louisiana from 1864-65.
The petition on Change.org has garnered more than 60 signatures.
Port Allen resident Amy LeBlanc created a petition to keep the statue in its place in response.
Parish President Riley "PeeWee" Berthelot said he has not received any calls on the matter. He said preliminary plans were discussed with the West Baton Rouge Museum following the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue in New Orleans in May of 2017 but no action ever came of the discussion.
In the petition, Berry calls the statue of the last Confederate General "traumatizing."
"It is truly gut-wrenching looking from the halls of justice or from the windows of the library only to see a man who stood for hatred towards African Americans," Berry wrote.
The statue of Allen by sculptress Angela Gregory was unveiled at the West Baton Rouge Courthouse in June of 1962.
The petition calls for the removal of the statue and its placement at a museum or on the grounds of the Old State Capital.
You can read the full petition here.
The relocation, and expenses related to it, would have to be voted on by the Parish Council after a council member adds it tot he agenda for discussion, Parish Attorney Louis Delahaye said.