DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham deputies arrested a woman Tuesday afternoon in connection with the toppling of a Confederate statue outside the old Durham County courthouse Monday evening.
Takiyah Thompson was arrested after taking part in a press conference a North Carolina Central University.
Earlier in the day, Durham County Sheriff Michael D. Andrews said his deputies were working to identify those who took part of Monday’s act.
“No one is getting away with this,” said Andrews.
He said protesters will face felony charges.
“We can all agree yesterday went too far,” he said.
His remarks came the day after a crowd of protesters gathered outside the old Durham County courthouse on Main Street Monday evening in opposition to a Confederate monument in front of the government building.
Around 7:10 p.m. a woman using a ladder climbed the statue of a Confederate soldier and attached a rope around the statue.
Moments later, the crowd pulled on the rope and the statue fell. One man quickly ran up and spat on the statue and several others began kicking it.
Durham police later said they monitored the protests to make sure they were “safe,” but did not interfere with the statue toppling because it happened on county property.
“Because this incident occurred on county property, where county law enforcement officials were staffed, no arrests were made by DPD officers,” Durham Police spokesman Wil Glenn wrote in an email statement.
Durham County Sheriff’s Office deputies videotaped the statue being brought down — but didn’t stop it from happening.
After toppling the statue, the protesters started marching. They blocked traffic with authorities trying to stay ahead of them. The protesters made their way down E. Main Street to the site of the new Durham Police Department.
In 1924, the Confederate statue was dedicated to Durham.
Engraved on the front of the monument is “The Confederate States of America.”
Above it, was the statue representing a soldier who fought in the civil war.
“Today we got a small taste of justice,” protester Jose Ramos said after the statue was down.
On Tuesday morning, Andrews released a statement saying that “As the Sheriff, I am not blind to the offensive conduct of some demonstrators nor will I ignore their criminal conduct. With the help of video captured at the scene, my investigators are working to identify those responsible for the removal and vandalism of the statue.”
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In an email to CBS North Carolina, Durham County spokeswoman Dawn Dudley says:
“Due to a North Carolina state law passed a few years ago, Durham County is prohibited from removing or making substantive alteration to historical monuments and memorials. I share this to say that there is a statute in place making the efforts you mention below difficult to move forward. I would assume that the only thing possible are steps to reverse the law.”
This statue has been the center of controversy before after graffiti was spray painted on it a few years ago.
The group that met Monday say their purpose is to “smash white supremacy.”
Gov. Cooper responded to the demonstration in a tweet on Twitter.
The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments #durham - RC— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) August 15, 2017
The NC Division Sons of Confederate Veterans released the following statement:
Last night the world witnessed a complete disregard for law and order as the Confederate monument standing on the old Durham County courthouse grounds was pulled down by an unruly mob. Meanwhile, in violation of their oaths, law enforcement personnel silently stood by and observed.
The North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans denounces the destruction of property and those who use their freedoms of speech and expression as weapons of oppression and destruction. The members of the mob who flagrantly violated the law, are a mass of hypocrites who use violence to re-write history to their liking. Theirs is an unholy crusade that if left unchecked, will mean the end of American liberty and democracy. A society that is governed by the whims of a bigoted mob is not a free society.We will do everything in our power to pursue prosecutions under the law for these cowardly acts committed in the lawless streets of Durham. We will also seek proper replacement of the monument.
Kevin Stone, Commander