33 photos and videos that captured the removal of the Sheep statue
After standing at the corner of Jefferson and Lee Streets for nearly 100 years, a statue honoring Confederate General Alfred Mouton has been removed from downtown Lafayette.
On Friday (7/16), it was reported that the United Daughters of the Confederacy had given up on their “legal defense of the statue of Alfred Mouton”, reaching a deal with the consolidated government of Lafayette just days before the issue not be judged.
Within 24 hours there were rumors that the statue would be moved and soon those rumors turned out to be true when a crane truck pulled up along Jefferson Street next to the Sheep statue.
Move The Mindset President Fred Prejean was one of the first people on the scene when the trucks pulled up beside the statue site.
Move the Mindset member Margaret Oelkers showed up early to reserve a seat at Carpe Diem to witness the historic statue removal. Here she informs MTM President Fred Prejean and Ola Prejean of the timeline of events that were to take place in regards to the removal of the Sheep Statue.
Soon a crowd began to gather as news of the statue’s removal began to spread on social media.
Eventually, members of the LCG administration showed up to confirm that the removal of Alfred Mouton’s statue would take place that morning. Flanked by local religious leaders, Minority Affairs Chief Carlos Harvin addressed the small crowd and members of the media who had gathered near the monument site.
Harvin introduced several religious leaders, including Bishop J. Douglas Deshotel and the bishops of the Church of God of Gethsemane in Christ Alton Gatlin and Vanessa Gatlin, all of whom delivered a message of unity and love as well as the hope the day would be symbolic in terms of how we move forward as a community.
After remarks by religious leaders, Harvin introduced Lafayette mayor-president Josh Guillory as “chief healer” to speak on a day when he said he could not have been “prouder. to be the mayor-president ”.
Guillory praised the community for trusting the legal process and not forcibly removing the monument. Once the legal hurdles were removed, Guillory said he didn’t want to waste time when it came to removing the statue.
Surrounded by religious leaders, Guillory and members of his administration led the Lord’s Prayer before the dismissal process began.
Once the field was cleared and the crews had a safe workspace, a crane began to set up a set of straps above the Sheep statue.
With the straps in place, the crews set up a ladder to climb up to the statue to secure it for transport.
Once they climbed the ladder, the crews were able to methodically put the straps in place for the Sheep statue to be lifted and transported to a nearby truck bed.
As soon as the straps were in place, the statue almost instantly rose from the platform where it had stood for nearly a century. As the monument swayed in the air, cheers could be heard from the small crowd who had gathered to witness a piece of Lafayette history.
Photographers rushed to snap a photo of the recently removed statue of the former Confederate general as she lay face down in the back of the truck that eventually transported her to an undisclosed resting place.
Although the most recognizable part of the monument had been removed, there was still work to be done for the crews.
There were still two parts of the base of the statue to be carefully removed and transported to the bed of the truck where the first part of the Sheep statue now rested.
The small crowd remained gathered to see the rest of the statue removed, while others celebrated the historic moment by posing in front of the dismantled monument.
Moving the state of mind President Fred Prejean approached to take a photo in front of the Sheep statue as it rested in the back of the truck, standing next to lawyer Jérôme Moreaux who legally represented the group MTM.
Prejean led a group of residents as president of Move the Mindset, launching a lawsuit in 2019 with the intention of overturning a 1980 permanent injunction that prevented the city from moving the statue from its own public property unless that the land is not sold or if it interferes with the road to work.
Prejean raised his fist and smiled, telling members of the media the moment was as sweet as he had imagined.
At one point, Prejean channeled Nelson Mandela a bit by saying that “everything seems impossible until it’s done” speaking of the long and tumultuous process it took for the statue to be removed from the centre’s public lands. – city of Lafayette.
Prejean also shared a personal moment with Mayor President Josh Guillory as the rest of the monument was removed.
When the crews were finished, there was only a concrete slab left where the Sheep statue stood for nearly a century. As for future plans, there was talk of a flag pole and perhaps a space for the audience to reflect on the history of the community and discuss ways to move forward.
Local religious leader Cory Levier celebrated the moment by standing atop the platform that contained the statue of a Confederate general a few minutes earlier.
At this time, we don’t know where the statue is, or where its final home will be, but after 99 years it is no longer in downtown Lafayette.
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