Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Woman, 22, who pulled down Confederate statue in North Carolina is arrested and could face PRISON - as Democrat governor vows to remove all 'anti-American' Civil War monuments from his state
- Takiyah Thompson, 22, was arrested after she admitted to helping bring down a Confederate monument on Monday in Durham, North Carolina
- She said she climbed a ladder to the top to tie a rope around the monument before the crowd tore it down
- On Tuesday before her arrest, she said her actions were justified because Confederate statues represent white supremacy
- She is charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, damage to real property and two other felony counts
- Vandalism comes after violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday over a statue of Confederate hero Robert E. Lee
PUBLISHED: 04:27 EDT, 15 August 2017 | UPDATED: 04:18 EDT, 16 August 2017
A woman who claims she took part in the toppling of the Confederate statue with a group of protesters in North Carolina has been arrested and is facing several charges.
It comes as the state's Democrat governor Roy Cooper said on Tuesday that he wants to bring down Confederate monuments around the state, thrusting himself into a debate stoked by violence in Virginia.
Cooper said: 'We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery,' Cooper said in a statement. 'These monuments should come down.'
Takiyah Thompson, 22, was taken into custody on Tuesday by Durham County sheriff's deputies shortly after protesters held a news conference at North Carolina Central University where she identified herself as the person who climbed a ladder to the top to tie a rope around the monument before the crowd tore it down on Monday.
She can be seen in video showing the moments before the Confederate statue was toppled.
During the press conference, Thompson said that her actions were justified because Confederate statues represent white supremacy.
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Takiyah Thompson (above), a woman who claims she took part in the toppling of the Confederate statue with a group of protesters in North Carolina, has been arrested and is facing several charges
Thompson was arrested Tuesday by Durham County sheriff's deputies shortly after protesters held a news conference where she identified herself as the person who climbed a ladder (above) to tie a rope around the monument before the crowd tore it down on Monday
She can be seen in video showing the moments before the Confederate statue was toppled at the top of the monument (above). During the press conference, Thompson said that her actions were justified because Confederate statues represent white supremacy
Authorities charged Thompson with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, damage to real property, participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 and inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500.
During the press conference and prior to Thompson's arrest, protesters called for authorities to drop any charges related to the incident.
'The people decided to take matters into our own hands and remove the statue,' Thompson, a member of the far-left Workers World Party and a student at N.C. Central University, said before being arrested.
'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.'
But Sheriff Mike Andrews said protesters who toppled the nearly century-old Confederate statue in front of a North Carolina government building would face felony charges.
'No one is getting away with this,' Andrews said. 'We can all agree yesterday went too far.'
The Confederate Soldiers Monument, dedicated in 1924, stood in front of an old courthouse that how houses local government offices. The crumpled and dented bronze figure has been taken to a warehouse for storage.
Sheriff Mike Andrews said protesters who toppled the nearly century-old Confederate statue (above) in front of a North Carolina government building would face felony charges
The incident in Durham on Monday comes in response to the violent clashes that erupted at a rally by white nationalists who were protesting the pending removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday.
Cooper says Confederate monuments 'should come down' and wants the legislature to repeal a law preventing state and local governments from removing them permanently and limiting their relocation.
The Democratic governor says Civil War history doesn't belong in 'a place of allegiance on our Capitol grounds.'
North Carolina is one of only three states - along with Virginia and Georgia - that have 90 or more Confederate monuments, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
A state tally shows at least 120 Civil War monuments around North Carolina, with the vast majority dedicated to the Confederacy. Around 50 are located at contemporary or historic courthouses.
The Republican-controlled legislature would have to repeal the 2015 law restricting the removal of monuments.
Cooper says he's also asked state officials to determine costs and logistics for removing Confederate monuments from state property.
On Sunday, a statue commemorating John B. Castleman, who served on the Confederate side of the Civil War, was discovered splattered with orange paint in Louisville, Kentucky. Above municipal workers attempt to remove the paint on Monday
Workers began removing a Confederate statue in Gainesville, Florida on Monday. The statue is being returned to the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which erected the bronze statue in 1904
Cities and states accelerated their plans to remove Confederate monuments from public property Tuesday as the violence over a Robert E. Lee statue in Charlottesville, Virginia, moved leaders across the country to plan to wipe away much of the remaining Old South imagery.
Only two statues were taken down immediately, in Gainesville, Florida, where the Daughters of the Confederacy removed a statue of a Confederate soldier known as 'Ole Joe,' and in Durham, North Carolina, where protesters used a rope to pull down that Confederate monument.
But the anti-Confederate momentum seemed to ensure that other memorials would come down soon.
Many local and state governments announced that they would remove statues and other imagery from public land, or consider doing so, in the aftermath of Saturday's white nationalist rally that killed one person and injured dozens more.
The changes were publicized as President Donald Trump defended Confederate statues in wide-ranging remarks.
'This week it's Robert E. Lee. I notice that Stonewall Jackson's coming down,' Trump said during a visit to Trump Tower in New York. 'I wonder, is it George Washington next week, and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?'
Asked specifically whether Charlottesville's Lee statue should come down, he said: 'I would say that's up to a local town, community or the federal government, depending on where it is located.'
All around the country, Republican and Democratic officials at the state and local levels moved swiftly to begin a process to remove the statues.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4791662/Deadly-rally-accelerates-removal-Confederate-statues.html#ixzz4px4v6mpl
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