Arizona secretary of state calls for removal of Confederate monument at State Capitol

The Arizona Secretary of State is calling for the Department of Administration to remove the Confederate monument inside Wesley Bolin Plaza.

Kate Hobbs wants to move the monument to the capitol museum for long-term storage.

"This is something that would make a strong statement about the priorities of the leadership of the state," Hobbs said.

The monument has been located at Westley Bolin Plaza for many years. This is the second call to have it removed, with the first call coming during the protest in Charleston.

"This is a monument that was erected to honor soldiers who role up against our country, doing treason to protect the practice of slavery, and these monuments around the country were erected during the time of the Civil Rights Movement as a form of intimidation, and it really has no place in Arizona," said Hobbs. "Arizona wasn't even a state at the time of the Civil War. The question should be why is this monument in Arizona?"

Hobbs said the best place for the monument would be inside the Capitol Museum for long-term storage.

"Why would we offer a place of prominence in a place that honors Martin Luther King, the Granite Mountain Hotshots?" said Hobbs. "I just think doing something to remove this monument would go a long way towards making a strong statement about the priorities of the state."

Confederate organization official voices opposition

Robert Johnson, who is with the Arizona division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, says the monument should not be removed.

"From our perspective, the monument of the Confederate soldiers is relative to Arizona, primarily due to the amount of contributions they have given to the state," said Johnson. "These are American veterans, so from our perspective, we can't let their sacrifice and courage be washed away."