Wilmington City Council votes to remove ‘Black Lives Do Matter: End Racism Now’ sign at Jervay Memorial Park

Wilmington City Council votes to remove ‘Black Lives Do Matter: End Racism Now’ sign at Jervay Memorial Park
Published: Sep. 21, 2022 at 8:54 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Wilmington City Council voted to remove the ‘Black Lives Do Matter: End Racism Now’ sign at Jervay Memorial Park 5-2 within 90 days, with council members Kevin Spears and Clifford Barnett as the dissenting votes.

The sign’s was originally approved to be installed in the park in 2020 and that approval was given a year’s extension in 2021.

During Tuesday’s meeting, council members Spears and Barnett said that the sign was a reminder of the Black community’s historic and current struggles and wanted to extend the approval for another year.

“I did say that I would come back every year if I had to, as long as I’m here, sitting in this seat. Voted for by the people to be here, to represent this, I’ll come back every year. Because had I not raised the issue, it would’ve come down next week,” Spears said.

Other members of the council argued that they should stick with the original agreement, which was to extend the approval only by one year. They also voiced concerns about setting a precedent for government speech and that groups could use the sign as an example to support messages of their own.

“It’s time for that sign to come down,” Council member Charles Rivenbark said.

The council voted that the sign will be removed no later than December 27 and the Governance Committee to address the city policy on future matters of this nature.