Update: ABC11 reported Tuesday that Takiyah Thompson, a North Carolina Central University student, was taken into custody. Thompson tied a rope around the Confederate statue's neck before the crowd tore it down.
Thompson is charged with disorderly conduct and damage to real property.
Original Story: Durham protesters toppled a Confederate monument near East Campus Monday night.
Dedicated in May 1924, the Confederate monument depicted a common soldier with a Confederate seal. The monument—which is located in front of the Old Durham County Courthouse—is about a mile from East Campus.
ABC11 reported that the protest grew to 100 people, who later marched to the new Durham Police headquarters, which is under construction. Signs read “Cops and Klan go hand in hand” and “Smash white supremacy.”
Durham City Council member Charlie Reece was asked on Twitter Sunday if the city could remove the statue.
“First, it’s probably prudent to point out that the statute on Main St. in Durham is on county property, not city,” he tweeted. “Second, there’s always the threat of retaliation from the [North Carolina General Assembly]. That’s a big stick in any of these conversations. Especially since…… the third point: someone (NCGA? NC Historic Preservation Commission? private citizen?) would sue to halt removal or get it put back.”
The events occurred in light of recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Unite the Right rally this weekend turned violent as white nationalists protested the removal of the city’s Robert E. Lee statue. President Vincent Price issued a statement condemning the violence.
“What we have all seen in Charlottesville was a sickening display of hate, bigotry, racism and ignorance, which must be denounced in strongest of terms," Price said. "We mourn the weekend’s terrible injuries and tragic loss of life. That these events occurred on and around the grounds of one of our nation’s great universities only adds to our dismay and deepens our profound sympathies.”
Several hours after the Durham statue was toppled, approximately 25 people remained around the statue talking to other pedestrians about police violence and the legacy of the Confederacy in the South.
“Charlottesville is getting ready to happen, y'all know that, right?” one passerby said.
Durham County employees taking the statue away: https://t.co/czTGbrsd8S— The (Duke) Chronicle (@DukeChronicle) August 15, 2017
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All that's left of Durham's Confederate monument. The statue was hollow so was removed quickly. pic.twitter.com/om4qM7jBXP— The (Duke) Chronicle (@DukeChronicle) August 15, 2017
Sarah Kerman and Adam Beyer contributed reporting. Check back for updates to this developing story.