Man seeks venue change over court’s Confederate statue

Local News

In this Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018 photo, Ronnie Anderson, an African-American man charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, poses for a photo in front of a confederate statue on the lawn of the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse, where he is facing the charge, in Clinton, La. The statue of the unnamed Confederate soldier has stood since 1909 in front of the courthouse in East Feliciana Parish, hands resting on his rifle looking down on the flow of lawyers, jurors and defendants going into the white columned building. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana man is asking the state’s Supreme Court to move his trial away from a courthouse with a Confederate statue at it.

Ronnie Anderson’s request, filed Monday, says the 30-foot-tall Confederate monument outside the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse is a “symbol of racial intolerance, oppression and intimidation” to Anderson, who is black.

Anderson is facing a charge of illegal possession of a stolen firearm. Lower courts have rejected his previous requests to move his trial because of the Confederate monument.

The Advocate reported that the judge who rejected Anderson’s request in November said it’s “just a piece of granite,” and the American flag is the only symbol inside the courtroom.

District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla has said the defense didn’t prove prejudice, and the parish tries to ensure color-blind justice.

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