• New monument to honor The Groveland Four slated for Lake County

    By: Myrt Price

    Updated:

    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A new monument will be coming to Lake County to honor The Groveland Four -- four men who were falsely accused of raping a woman in 1949.

    Commissioners approved the design and cost for the project they they hope will help in vindicating the men.

    Officials went over two options before settling on a design.

    "The next step in the process will be to actually reach out to the families and show them the schematic for the monument and the verbiage," said Lake County Commissioner Leslie Campione.

    Leaders said the monument will tell the story of The Groveland Four, who were four black men falsely accused of raping Norma Padgett in 1949.

    Earnest Thomas was killed by an angry mob. Samuel Shepherd and Walter Irvin were shot by a sheriff after he claimed they tried to escape. Irvin survived, and he and Charles Greenlee spent much of their lives in prison.

    Their families worked for years to clear their names.

    The plan is to place the memorial outside of the old courthouse.

    Officials said the current cost estimate is around $20,000.

    Leaders hope the monument will be in place in six months. 

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