Mon., December 30, 2013 2:00pm (EST)

More Than 20 Years Later, County Debates Memorial To Slain Savannah Officer
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 4 months ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
GPB's Orlando Montoya interviewing Mark MacPhail, Jr., slain Savannah officer Mark MacPhail's son, in 2010.  (GPB camera photo taken by MacPhail's sister.)
GPB's Orlando Montoya interviewing Mark MacPhail, Jr., slain Savannah officer Mark MacPhail's son, in 2010. (GPB camera photo taken by MacPhail's sister.)
Officials in Savannah's Chatham County are debating whether a slain police officer deserves a memorial of his own.

The 1989 death of officer Mark MacPhail largely has been overshadowed by the fate of his convicted killer, Troy Anthony Davis.

In fact, if you Google "officer Mark MacPhail", a picture of Troy Anthony Davis comes up. The state of Georgia executed Davis two years ago for killing MacPhail.

The legal proceedings that led to the execution made international headlines. Now some local officials want to put the focus back on the slain officer.

County commissioner Helen Stone wants a monument where officer MacPhail died at a Savannah bus station.

"A fountain that would depict water flowing where his blood flowed would be a very positive thing," Stone says.

Other officials say that would set a bad precedent.

Frank Mingledorf sits on the board that would have to approve the monument.

"You're going to have a problem with other families coming up and wanting a memorial," Mingledorf says. "The fact is that that happened a long time ago, didn't it?"

A planning board usually approves monuments in the city. But Stone says the fountain wouldn't need the planning board's approval because the memorial would be inside a transit center run by the local bus system, Chatham Area Transit.

A CAT spokeswoman says she doesn't know if the matter will be on the CAT board's December agenda.