City of Presidents will not remove its presidential statues

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Mayor Steve Allender addressed a wide variety of topics during today's (June 24) city briefing; touching on everything from the emergency care shelter to the question of removing presidential statues downtown.

Allender said when the presidential statues started going up downtown, he didn't understand their importance. Now he says he sees how much both locals and tourists love to stop by each of the 44 statues. Recently however, he's received phone calls asking for the Obama statue to be removed, and not long ago also heard concerns about removing the Clinton statue in light of the Kavanaugh supreme court hearings. Although controversial historical statues are being taken down across the nation, Allender says that will not happen here.

"We are the city of presidents. We have statues of 44 presidents, of the United States, everyone of them did great things for our country, but everyone one of them was a sinner," said Steve Allender, Rapid City mayor. "Everyone of them has made mistakes, has made a fool out of himself, maybe even embarrassed this country, because they are human beings who have risen to the status of president of this great country. We're not removing any of them."

Allender added that the statues are each valued at well over one hundred thousand dollars and removing or damaging them could result in jail time.