Police report filed after Confederate flags allegedly stolen from cemetery

Published 7:36 pm Thursday, May 4, 2017

A police report has been filed alleging Rose Sanders took Confederate flags from Old Live Oak Cemetery last week, and a video allegedly showing that has gone viral in Selma and Dallas County.

Selma Police Chief Spencer Collier confirmed Thursday a report was filed, and the department is investigating the misdemeanor fourth-degree theft of property case.

The report was filed on Tuesday, April 25, 2017, after a ceremony to commemorate Confederate Memorial Day was held at the cemetery.

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The video was posted to a closed Facebook group called Dallas County Neighborhood Watch on May 2, and since then hundreds of people have commented, shared and reacted to it. People have also taken the video and shared it on their own Facebook pages as well as other groups.

The Times-Journal was not given permission to share the video, but it can be found on the original Facebook group it was posted on.

The video shows a woman that appears to be Sanders getting into a van with miniature Confederate flags in her hand.

“You’ve taken property that does not belong to you from the cemetery at Live Oak Cemetery,” said the person filming the video.

The woman being filmed, which appears to be Sanders, then says they are going to film the person filming her. The person filming said the suspect took two flags from the grave of John Tyler Morgan, who was a general in the Confederacy and a six-term senator.

When the Times-Journal asked Sanders to confirm if it was her in the video, she would not confirm it.

“I’m not confirming that,” Sanders said Wednesday, though she did comment about Confederate flags in the cemetery.

“That cemetery is public property. The only thing that’s private over there is the acre that this misguided government gave some terrorists, domestic terrorists, people to honor domestic terrorists,” Sanders said. “Confederate flags have no place in a public cemetery.”

According to Alabama law, removing decorations or other personal property from a grave is a Class A misdemeanor, as stated in Alabama Criminal Code 13A-7-23.1.

Collier said while the case is being investigated, further action depends on the victim in the case signing a warrant for an arrest.

“Generally, on misdemeanors, the victims have to sign the warrant,” Collier said. “If the victim does not want to press charges, it’s going to be difficult to make a case.”

Old Live Oak Cemetery is owned by the city of Selma, so it is public property.

The victim who filed the police report has declined to comment at this time as well as the person who filmed the video.