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November 23, 2020

For press inquiries only, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491

Attorney General Steve Marshall’s Message to the People of Alabama on the Illegal Actions of City and County Officials Violating the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act

(MONTGOMERY) Attorney General Steve Marshall released a video message to
the people of Alabama on Monday morning upon having to pursue a fifth fine
in 2020 against a city or county for violating the Alabama Memorial
Preservation Act:

“In recent months, we have witnessed a number of elected officials take it upon
themselves to tear down monuments and statues protected under Alabama

I want to speak directly to the people of Alabama, as the chief law enforcement
officer of our state, to make a few things clear about the actions of these
elected officials:

First, any elected official who removes a historic monument or statue in
violation of Alabama law has broken the law. He has not simply decided to pay
a fee so that he can lawfully have the monument or statue removed. He has
committed an illegal act.

Second, any elected official sworn into office by taking an oath to uphold the
law, who then breaks a duly enacted and constitutional law, has violated that

Third, despite what some newspapers might have you believe, any elected
official who disregards the duties of his office in this manner has done so not
out of courage, but has done so out of fear. This should not be celebrated, for
disregarding the law subverts our democratic system.

Our government vests the power to make laws in the legislature alone. If an
elected official disagrees with a law, he can work through his legislators to see
that law changed. That is how our system works.

I urge my fellow Alabamians to take note of those casting votes and spending
their tax dollars to violate a law of this state. It is now a question of when not if
these same leaders will cast aside yet another law being guided only by the
political winds of the moment.

“Around the country, we have seen what happens when city and county
officials allow the mob to take over. It all starts with subtle non-enforcement of
laws and ordinances, and quickly devolves into utter lawlessness. As a state,
we must remain vigilant that those elected to govern our localities do not lead
us slowly down the same road.”

The video message may be viewed at this link, and downloaded at this link.