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Forrest family alleges grave desecration in Tennessee suit

December 18, 2018
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FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2013, file photo, a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest sits on a concrete pedestal at a park named after the confederate cavalryman in Memphis Tenn. Descendants of Nathan Bedford Forrest are claiming that the graves of the Confederate general and his wife were desecrated when the statue of him was removed from a Tennessee park last year. Forrest’s great-great-grandsons filed a lawsuit in a Memphis court Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, seeking damages and possession of the statue after it was taken down in December 2017. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Descendants of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest are claiming that the graves of the former Ku Klux Klan leader and his wife were desecrated when a statue of him was removed from their burial site at a Tennessee park.

Forrest’s great-great-grandsons sued the city of Memphis on Monday. They seek damages and possession of the statue, which was removed from a city park in 2017. City officials circumvented a state law limiting the removal of historical memorials from public property by selling the park to a private nonprofit, which removed the monuments.

The lawsuit seeks a judge’s order allowing the disinterment of the couple’s remains and their reburial at a location chosen by the Forrest family.

The city said its actions were lawful and it will defend itself in court.

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