SBI investigating Confederate monument taken down by Enfield’s mayor
ENFIELD, N.C. (WITN) - The State Bureau of Investigation said it is looking into the destruction of a Confederate monument in an Enfield town park.
Mayor Mondale Robinson posted on his Facebook account a video of a frontend loader pushing over the monument that has stood in Randolph Park since 1928.
Last Monday, town commissioners voted to have the monument removed.
The newly-elected mayor said by tearing down the monument Sunday night he was saving the town money in the long run. “Not in my town, not on my watch,” the mayor was heard saying as the marble monument came down.
An SBI spokeswoman told WITN News this afternoon that their investigation began at the request of the police chief and the district attorney.
The 10-foot high monument with a Confederate flag carved in the middle was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, honoring Confederate war dead and those from World War I, according to UNC Chapel Hill. In later years, additions to honor vets of other wars were added, including World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Persian Gulf War.
“No longer will Black kids be playing in this park and have to wonder why a Confederate flag is flying because it is not flying in this park anymore. No more Mondays will you wake up and see a Confederate monument in a park,” Mayor Robinson said.
Crime scene tape now surrounds the monument. Robinson said since it was a gift to the town, he feels they are well within their legal rights to have the monument removed.
The latest data shows the town’s racial makeup is 85% Black.
Robinson’s mother, Virginia Robinson, stopped by the park Monday morning, where the remnants of the monument remained.
“It needed to be gone,” Virginia Robinson said. “There’s nothing that he did wrong, he did nothing wrong. It was in the middle of the town, and he did what had to be did.”
The mayor’s mother says the park’s history also holds dark memories for the town.
“Growing up, my mom would tell me: ‘don’t go to that park because the white people don’t want you there,’” Virginia Robinson said.
Some Eastern Carolina residents disagreed with the way that the sign was removed, but they weren’t willing to be interviewed.
Mayor Robinson says the statue was a gift to the Town of Enfield, and it is the town’s right to destroy a gift that is no longer relevant.
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