Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear is calling for the removal of a Confederate monument located on the grounds of the Calloway County courthouse.
Beshear said all monuments honoring Confederate leaders in public spaces should be removed. He also called for the removal of a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis located in the rotunda of the state Capitol.
The monument on the Calloway County courthouse grounds features a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Murray State University Assistant Football Coach Sherman Neal originally called for the removal of the monument in an open letter to county and Murray city leadership on June 1.
“If it is at a courthouse, it ought to come down,” Beshear said. “Having a confederate monument on courthouse grounds or in the rotunda is not the right thing.”
Beshear responded to growing calls for racial justice by announcing initiatives to increase equality for black Kentuckians in the areas of healthcare, education and law enforcement.
The governor’s office is seeking to ensure 100% healthcare coverage in the state’s black communities through Medicaid, Medicare or private insurance. Beshear said the goal will come with state funding and cooperation with local leaders.
“I believe that healthcare is a basic human right,” Beshear said.
Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Jacqueline Coleman also announced plans to work with the commonwealth’s historically black colleges and universities to produce more teachers of color in the state’s classrooms. Coleman said black students who have a black teacher by third grade are more likely to attend college than those that did not. She said the state will also work to develop implicit bias training for all of Kentucky’s educators.
In the area of law enforcement, Secretary of the Executive Cabinet J. Michael Brown said the state is working to develop in-service training modules for law enforcement officers. Eight hours of training will be required through the end of the calendar year, with more expected in 2021. The topics for the training sessions include use of force and emotional intelligence.
Beshear confirmed 120 new cases of the coronavirus Monday, bringing the statewide total to 11,476. One Kentuckian died as a result of COVID-19.
Find more information concerning the coronavirus pandemic in Kentucky here.