Statement from Councilor Woods on the damage done to the historic landmark for his grandfather, Bishop Calvin Woods
The following is a statement from District 1 Councilor Clinton Woods:
Yesterday I learned that the state historic landmark that was installed in Kelly Ingram Park to honor the contributions of my grandfather, Bishop Calvin Woods, has been destroyed. I am extremely angry and disappointed. At this time, there are many unanswered questions, but I do know that a member of the community contacted my grandfather on Monday night to inform him that his monument was no longer in Kelly Ingram Park.
After initial investigations by the family we were told that the sign was discovered last Thursday having suffered catastrophic damage. The portion of the sign that was still attached to the base was removed due to safety concerns. To be clear, the sign is in two pieces and I believe that the sign was damaged by an individual. I don’t know how this was done or why someone would do this — everyone should be enraged by this heinous act.
This monument was a well-deserved piece of recognition for the works of not only my grandfather, but the many other individuals in the Civil Rights struggle with whom he marched side-by-side. This was a major point of pride for our entire family.
There are several aspects of this situation that are extremely upsetting; the fact that there’s an individual or individuals in this city that have so little reverence for the struggles that people like my grandfather went through to create the opportunities that we have today — the same opportunities that many of us take for granted. They spoke up and spoke out at a time when it could’ve cost them their lives or the lives of their families.
I’m angry because no one let the family know that this had happened. I’m enraged at the impact that this has had on my grandfather; he’s a man that has served people and this city in any capacity that he could. Seeing the hurt, disappointment, and anger that this has caused him has hurt our entire family.
There are many cameras in and around the park and I have been informed that the available video is currently being reviewed. I want the public to understand the magnitude of what was done. It’s more than the destruction of a piece of metal. It’s a slap in the face of everyone who has ever put their body or livelihood on the line for a greater cause.
Going forward we are asking the public to provide any available information on this crime and we are currently working with several groups and individuals to put reward money in place for information leading to an arrest.