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Missouri officials to add plaques to Andrew Jackson statues detailing history as slave owner

Posted at 3:13 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 15:13:51-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A change will come to the controversial statue outside the Jackson County Courthouse in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

After much debate, the Jackson County Legislature on Monday voted to add a plaque on the Andrew Jackson statue detailing Jackson's history as a slave owner and his role in removing Native Americans from the South. A plaque will also be added to a similar statue outside the Historic Truman Courthouse in Independence, Missouri.

Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said talks with local organizations led the push to make the change.

"I was really impressed with Montgomery, Alabama. Their history is awful, but they own it," Peters Baker said. "And I thought, 'Well if they can do that, Kansas City should probably be able to do the same.' And then I came home and was greeted by Andrew Jackson."

Jackson County is named after the former Army general and president. The statue at the downtown courthouse was dedicated in the 1930s.

Peters Baker said her office will pay for the plaque.

"I simply believe this building must stand for fairness. It must stand for pursuit of fairness for everyone who enters it," she said.

The county executive, Frank White Jr., spoke against the decision.

"This is not the right body without community engagement of the African American community, also the Native American community, to actually make the decision of what goes on that plaque," White said.

This story was originally published by Sarah Plake on KSHB.