A total of four suspects have now been arrested after a video went viral of them toppling a monument portraying a Confederate soldier holding a rifle in North Carolina. The statue was erected in 1924 and inscribed with the words “in memory of the boys who wore the gray”, the traditional color of the uniform worn by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War.
The event occurred on Monday in response to the protest in Charlottesville over the weekend. A video emerged of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, climbing to the top of a Confederate statue, tying a rope around it, and pulling it to the ground.
Protesters then proceeded to kick the statue, although I imagine it had little effect on the cosmetics of the monument, but may have been effective in relieving some of the hatred in the hearts of the protesters. However, the damage had already been done, as the monument lay severely bent after smashing to the ground.
After the video of this incident made its way across social media, North Carolina officials said they would pursue charges against the protesters directly responsible for destroying the historical monument.
Law enforcement officers took video throughout the protest but didn’t intervene. Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said he was aware of the potential for vandalism, but used restraint because of the risk of injuries if deputies moved in.
“Had I ordered my deputies to engage a hostile crowd, there would have been serious injuries,” Andrews said. “Statues can be replaced. Lives cannot.”
Still, he said he would pursue felony charges against the protesters responsible for bringing the statue down: “Let me be clear. No one is getting away with what happened yesterday.”
On Tuesday, the first arrest was made, as police tracked down the woman who climbed the ladder and tied the rope around the Confederate statue, contributing to its downfall.
— Adam Owens (@AdamOwensTV) August 15, 2017
Takiya Thompson, a student and member of the alt-left Workers World Party, was taken into custody and admitted to participating in the vandalism of the statue. Considering she was clearly seen in the video as one of the culprits, there was little sense in trying to deny her crime.
Deputies took Thompson, a member of the far-left Workers World Party and a student at N.C. Central University, into custody Tuesday shortly after she appeared at a press conference with other protesters.
“The people decided to take matters into our own hands and remove the statue,” Thompson told reporters. “We are tired of waiting on politicians who could have voted to remove the white supremacist statues years ago, but they failed to act. So we acted.”
Investigators said Thompson confessed to climbing the monument and aiding in its removal after being identified through cellphone video.
Authorities have been using the footage, which was captured by cops, to identify all of those responsible and bring them to justice.
“The Sheriff’s Office is executing search warrants and additional arrests are expected,” officials said in a press release.
Today, three more protesters were arrested for taking part in the vandalism of the Confederate monument and charged with felonies related to the incident.
Three more protesters were arrested Wednesday for participating in the toppling of a nearly century-old statue of a Confederate soldier in North Carolina.
Dante Strobino, 35, and Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, were arrested when they attended a court hearing for another woman who was charged Tuesday for climbing a ladder to attach a rope to the bronze soldier. Peter Gull, 39, was arrested later Wednesday afternoon.
The Durham County Sheriff’s office said Tran and Strobino were charged with two felonies related to inciting and participating in a riot that damaged property.
All suspects were affiliated with the far-left Workers World Party, who helped organize the protest. The Workers World Party is an admitted communist party founded in 1959 by a group led by the Socialist Workers Party.
Takiya Thompson, the suspect who tied the rope around the statue, defended her actions by saying she’s tired of being oppressed by white supremacy.
“I’m tired of white supremacy keeping its foot on my neck and the necks of people who look like me,” Thompson said at a news conference. “That statue glorifies the conditions that oppressed people live in, and it had to go.”
Considering Thompson is a student at a historically African-American university in North Carolina, and is eligible to benefit from various diversity scholarships, I can’t help but wonder which white supremacists are placing their “foot on her neck” and keeping her from following her dreams in America.