Protesters Gather Before Frank Bogert Statue Removal

Carmela Karcher

“More time.”

That’s all that protester Amando Salinas is asking from the city.

“I mean, it’s a Tuesday morning all of a sudden this gets released, you know, late on Monday. So that was a tactic that’s not appreciated,” Salinas explained. “And when I read about it, I thought Frank was there for my family, way back in the 60s. And I’m here today for Frank and his family.”

The city of Palm Springs announced Monday that the controversial statue of former Mayor Frank Bogert, known as the “Cowboy Mayor,” be removed from its home in front of City Hall.

This comes after Attorney Rod Pacheco with the group “Friends of Frank Bogert” filed a temporary restraining order against the city.

The reason was to allow the statue to stay until the court can hear another lawsuit filed by Pacheco asking to leave the statue alone.

That hearing is scheduled for June 24.

But an attempt to move the hearing on the restraining order from Wednesday to Tuesday was denied.

According to Pacheco, the city went forward with the removal process anyway.

“The city just keeps making things worse,” Pacheco said. “I mean, if they were interested in democracy, they would have done it transparently and they would have done it openly. Instead, they tried to do it in the morning when everybody was asleep. That’s emblematic of what they’ve been trying to do this whole time.”

Within the last few years, the Frank Bogert statue has stirred up more controversy.

For some, the statue honors the legacy of a veteran, friend and leader who made Palm Springs the city it is today.

But for others, it’s a painful reminder of the racism behind the forced evictions of families from Section 14 that occurred during Bogert’s time as mayor.

“Well, I came out to see justice be served properly,” Alvin Taylor, a Section 14 survivor, shared. “What goes around comes around, basically. When I was a little boy, this man on this horse was responsible for what is known as the Section 14 city engineered holocaust. Bad things happened after that, not only in my life, but in many other people’s lives, the trauma, the tragedy, the atrocity that took place.”

Taylor said while he is against what Bogert did and what he stood for, he is not against him, and said he just wants it removed from downtown.

But what the “Friends of Frank Bogert,” including his wife, are most upset about is the city’s dismissal of their requests.

“Every single location that we came up with, they got turned down,” Bogert’s wife, Negie Bogert, said. “I told them, if you had come to the family and just asked us to move the statue, we would’ve said go ahead. But for them to use the way that they are doing it, who didn’t like my husband’s character and put him through the mud, I don’t think that’s right. I will tell them to just do it honestly and ethically and with respect.”

Mayor Lisa Middleton has since issued a statement saying, “We look forward to the judge making a decision in this case and as always, we hope both parties respect the judicial process and the decision made by the judge.”

The temporary restraining order hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. in Riverside.

NBC Palm Springs will keep you updated on that outcome and what that means for the Frank Bogert statue.

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