A federal judge has allowed for the removal of a Confederate monument in front of the courthouse in Caddo after dismissing a lawsuit filed by the Daughters of the Confederacy, who said the monument sat on private property. Caddo Parish Commissioner Steven Jackson says it’s a step forward for the community.

“It dates back to centuries. The old mentality if there is a superior group of individuals around. But, we know that God created all of us to be equal.”

The monument was erected in 1903, and the commission voted 7-5 in October of 2017 for its removal, deciding it would be better placed in a museum or memorial site.

Jackson says placing the monument in front of a courthouse was highly inappropriate because of the effect it could have had on the proceedings taking place inside the court of law.

“I have heard of individuals feel like they don’t think they are being treated fairly. We have seen the black strikes where African American jurors are more likely to be struck by a jury.”

The judge also rejected the Daughter’s claim that the commission had violated their free speech and equal protection rights during the proceedings. Jackson says the President of the United Daughters of The Confederacy was given an opportunity to speak in front of the commission, and that their organization's rights were never jeopardized.

“There was a citizens commission and the president of the local chapter was on that citizen's advisory board to say that they did not have a chance to chime in or be heard is not true.”

The Daughters claimed that the land the monument was placed on over a century ago was private land reserved for the monument in a Caddo Parish Police Jury meeting, and the parish did not have the right to remove it.