Local protesters defend Belton's confederate statue

Channel 6 news reporter Andrew Moore reports.

BELL COUNTY - Nearly a dozen protesters stormed the Bell County Courthouse Saturday -- demanding a confederate statue stay put after a local NAACP chapter called for it's removal earlier this week.

The local NAACP leader called the statue a "symbol of hatred." 

Temple resident David Thornton said he doesn't belong to any group in the area, but he put out a notice on Facebook calling for support. 

Several people answered Thornton's call to action and showed up to the courthouse. 

Channel 6 spoke with protesters who said the country has done some disgraceful things in the past, including slavery, but added all soldiers who fought for the nation should be honored -- confederate or otherwise. 

Bell County Judge John Burrows said the statue does not represent any single confederate leader and simply honors confederate soldiers from Bell County.

Protesters in attendance believe those soldiers deserve to be remembered.

"We're all Americans, we all bleed red," Thornton said. "We need to unite together and accept that and keep the statues in place to teach our next generation of children."

"This isn't about the war. This is about soldiers who served in combat, serving their country," C.J. Girsham, Temple resident, said. 

The statue has stood at the courthouse since 1916, and the county has agreed to re-discuss the issue with concerned citizens at a later unknown date.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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