The Memphis City Council voted to remove two Confederate statues after transferring ownership of the parks on Wednesday night.
According to WZTV in Memphis, the city council voted unanimously to remove the Jefferson Davis statue and Nathan Bedford Forrest statues immediately. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said he approved the sale of both Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park in order to allow the removal of the statues.
Health Sciences Park and Memphis Park have been sold. Operations on those sites tonight are being conducted by a private entity and are compliant with state law. We will have further updates later tonight.— Mayor Jim Strickland (@MayorMemphis) December 21, 2017
The City of Memphis issued a traffic alert following the vote, and heavy equipment was seen entering one of the parks.
According to Fox13, more than 30 police squad cars were seen at Tiger lane, an area not too far from the Health Sciences Park where the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue is located. The police cars later surrounded the park completely.
The Jefferson Davis statue and Nathan Bedford Forrest statues have been at the center of controversy for most of the year. The Tennessee Historic Commission denied the city's request to remove the statues in October.
Memphis city officials filed a petition for a judge to review that decision in December.