Lubbock City Council Approves Memorial for Timothy Cole
At their meeting Thursday morning, the Lubbock City Council approved a memorial to a man who was wrongly convicted of rape in the 1980s and died in prison.
The Council voted 5-1 to locate a memorial for Timothy Cole at 19th Street and University Avenue.
Cole, a military veteran, was wrongly convicted of raping a Texas Tech student in 1985. He died in prison of an asthma attack in 1999, and was granted the State of Texas’ first posthumous pardon from Governor Rick Perry in 2010.
The memorial will be paid for by the law firm of Glasheen, Valles, and Inderman. A bronze relief of Cole will be donated by local sculptor Eddie Dixon.
The area at which the memorial will be placed has now been declared as City park land, following a “friendly suggestion” from District 4 Councilman Paul R. Beane. The City currently maintains the land where the memorial will be placed. District 3 Councilman Todd Klein made a motion for that particular amendment, which was approved by the Council 5-1.
“I would hope that the motion to approve would also have a rider in it that this land be taken into the City as park land, in order that folks could not camp there, or “occupy” this land, or in any way detract from what this site is going to be designated as, and that is a memorial to the legacy of Tim Cole,” said Beane.
District 1 Councilman Victor Hernandez voted against the resolution, and District 5 Councilwoman Karen Gibson was absent.
Hernandez issued a statement via email and social media following the vote, saying that he voted against the memorial due to Beane’s amendment.
“How can we honor a man who stood up to an injustice (literally with his life) and then turn around and put in place restrictions limiting others to do the same,” Hernandez said. “The ‘friendly amendment’ was nothing more than a back-handed way of stifling free speech and ensuring that people not use a public venue as a way to seek Justice as well.”
The “Occupy Lubbock” movement most recently used that site for their protest.