California weighing name change for city of Fort Bragg

The Fort Bragg City Council is debating changing the city name -- taken from a Confederate general who allegedly owned more than 100 slaves - as national protests continue against racial injustice and police brutality.

City Council members considered putting the issue on the ballot in November, but instead, Mayor Will Lee opted for creating a commission to study a potential name change.

ULYSSES S GRANT STATUE TOPPLED IN SAN FRANCISCO

In this 2002 photo, an aerial view of the Georgia Pacific timber mill is seen in the foreground, in Fort Bragg, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

In this 2002 photo, an aerial view of the Georgia Pacific timber mill is seen in the foreground, in Fort Bragg, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Northern California coastal city, located in Mendocino County, was named for Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg in 1857 before the Civil War. The military post was established to keep control of the Mendocino Indian Reservation.

Statues of Confederate soldiers and other public figures have been toppled and protested as historical symbols of racism following the death of George Floyd in May. Floyd, an unarmed black man, died in police custody after a former Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes.

Fort Bragg city staff said in a memo to the City Council that it also could choose to re-dedicate the city to different Braggs: Britain's William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg, a father-son team who won the 1915 Nobel Prize in physics.

Gen. Bragg's name is also borne on one of the world's largest military bases in North Carolina, called Fort Bragg.

President Trump has called for Republicans to oppose changing military bases named after Confederate leaders, but some party leaders, including Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell, have said they are open to the idea.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.