Baltimore Officials Pass Bill to Rename Columbus Obelisk ‘Police Violence Victims’ Monument’

Hundreds march at a rally for Jacob Black Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Kenosha, Wis. More than a thousand people gathered Saturday in Kenosha for a march and rally against police violence, about a week after an officer shot Jacob Blake in the back seven times, leaving the 29-year-old Black …
AP Photo/Morry Gash

Baltimore officials passed a bill Monday to rename a Columbus monument located near a memorial for fallen police officers the “Police Violence Victims’ Monument.”

At the meeting, the Baltimore City Council voted 10-4 to approve the legislation, according to WBAL.

“The Columbus Monument obelisk is located in Herring Run Park and is in the same section of the park as a memorial for five Northeast District police officers who died on the job,” the report said.

In a statement Monday morning, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said he spoke with several council members regarding his concerns about the obelisk’s proposed name change:

Having the proposed monument be in such close proximity to a police memorial, honoring officers who have died in the line of duty, diminishes the sacrifices made by those officers and does a disservice to them and their families. Both memorials are important and should be places of reflection and remembrance for loved ones, and those that visit should be able to do so in a setting without disruption or divisiveness.

“As we look to remember people who have been harmed by those in the policing profession, I remain committed to rebuilding trust with the communities that we are sworn to protect and serve in more meaningful and productive ways,” Harrison noted.

The fallen officers’ monument was erected in 2004, according to the Capital Gazette.

“There is also a memorial downtown for fallen city police officers, near the department headquarters on Fayette Street,” the article said.

However, Democrat City Councilman Ryan Dorsey argued the monument’s location “has nothing to do with the deaths or lives of the officers who are memorialized there,” according to the WBAL report.

On what appeared to be his Twitter profile, Dorsey, who introduced the legislation, claimed Monday afternoon that “It’s not proximity to monuments, but the recognition of police violence that offends them.”

In August, the City Council’s Housing and Urban Affairs Committee unanimously passed the bill to rename the Columbus monument.

“The bill is up for final council approval on Oct. 5,” the WBAL report concluded.


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