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Appeals court rejects challenge of Confederate court statue

June 12, 2019
FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2018 file photo, a statue commemorating fallen confederate soldiers stands on front of the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse in Clinton, La. An appeals court on Tuesday, June 11, 2019 rejected a request by Louisiana defendant Ronnie Anderson to have his trial moved from the courthouse with a Confederate monument out front. The one-page ruling gave no reasoning for the decision. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana appeals court has rejected a black man’s request to move his trial to a courthouse without a Confederate monument out front.

The 2-1 decision Tuesday gave no reason for denying Ronnie Anderson’s request to move his trial from the East Feliciana Parish Courthouse in Clinton, where he faces a weapons charge after a traffic stop.

Defense attorney Niles Haymer called the statue of a Confederate soldier in the courthouse entryway “offensive, intimidating and racially insensitive.”

District Attorney Sam D’Aquilla said the defense didn’t prove prejudice, and the parish tries to ensure justice is color-blind.

The Advocate reported that the judge who rejected Anderson’s request in November said it’s “just a piece of granite,” and the American flag is the only symbol inside the courtroom.

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