Council Speaker calls for removal of statue honoring doctor who experimented on slaves
One of the city's most prominent lawmakers is now calling for the removal of a controversial statue in East Harlem.
This memorial of Doctor J. Marion Sims is located on Fifth Avenue near 103rd Street, across from the New York Academy of Medicine.
He's known as the father of modern gynecology.
But the surgeon experimented on slaves — allegedly without consent or anesthesia.
Now, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is joining activists who want the statue taken down.
"At a time when neo-Nazis, white nationalists, and hateful right wing extremists run rampant throughout the country at the urging it seems and the encouragement of this president, we must send a definitive message and send a definitive message that the despicable acts of J. Marion Sims are repugnant and reprehensible," the Council Speaker said.
"This statue represents the shame that took place in our city and in our country, particularly offensive to women who were the victims of this person's so-called medical profession," said City Councilman Bill Perkins.
Protesters held a rally over the weekend.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered a 90-day review of possible symbols of hate on city property.
He says the statue of Sims will get immediate attention.