Allendale won’t pursue case against Civil War statue vandals

Ottawa County

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Allendale Township has decided pursuing criminal charges against the people who vandalized a controversial Civil War statue would be counterproductive.

After a year of heated debate, the Allendale Township board voted in June to keep the statue that depicts a Confederate soldier and slave child in the Veterans Garden of Honor on 68th Avenue at Lake Michigan Drive.

On Thursday, officials said they would drop the charges against the group of people who defaced the statue last year, saying going forward with the case would require an undue amount of time and resources and only stoke the controversy further.

“This last year, in so many ways, has been divisive, whether we’re talking the COVID issue, the politics, the statue issue here in Allendale. And at this point, if we have the opportunity to move forward with less divisiveness and being able to focus on the positives that are going on, that’s where Allendale wants to focus,” Township Supervisor Adam Elenbaas told News 8.

The board has expressed interest in adding more Civil War statues that would honor other pieces of history, but there is no timeline for that.

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