A black woman in Durham, N.C., was arrested Tuesday in connection with the toppling of a Confederate monument outside the Durham County courthouse Monday evening, and the Durham County Sheriff’s Office is executing search warrants, with more arrests expected to come.
Takiyah Thompson, who, witnesses told The Root, was the activist who climbed a ladder and put a noose around the neck of the statue Monday, was arrested after taking part in a press conference on the campus of North Carolina Central University, an HBCU in Durham, WNCN reports.
Thompson is charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, which is a Class 2 misdemeanor; damage to real property (in this case a statue, which is a fixture), a Class 1 misdemeanor; participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500, a Class H felony; and inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500, which is a Class F felony.
Sheriff Mike Andrews told WNCN that his deputies are working to identify everyone who took part in Monday’s act. He said all the protesters will face felony charges.
“No one is getting away with this,” Andrews said. “We can all agree yesterday went too far.”
As previously reported on The Root, a video recorded by Twitter user and WNCN reporter Derrick Lewis showed a crowd of people gathered in front of the statue Monday evening.
As the gathered crowd chanted, “No hoods! No KKK! No Fascist U.S.A.!” a group of people pulled on the rope tied to the statue’s neck until the statue was toppled from its pedestal. When the statue hit the ground, the crowd cheered, and some people ran up to kick the statue and spit on it.
The crowd of demonstrators was part of a planned protest to show solidarity with Charlottesville, Va., the scene of the massive racist jamboree that happened over the weekend. The demonstrators were rallying to denounce white supremacy.
The video posted by Lewis showed mainly white demonstrators around the statue, but others contacted The Root to say there were people of color involved as well.
D’atra Jackson of Black Youth Project 100 told The Root that her organization was invited to speak at the rally that preceded the statue’s being toppled. She said that people who had gone to Charlottesville as counterprotesters were also present at Monday’s rally.
Jackson said there were many people of color involved in both the planning of the event and the actual toppling of the statue.
While Thompson’s participation was not shown in the video The Root shared, according to WNCN, Durham police said that they were on the scene videotaping the incident as the statue was taken down, but they did not stop it from happening.
“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 to WNCN.
On Tuesday morning, Andrews released a statement saying: “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.”
And to start it off right, they went after the black woman first. Because, of course.
In the meantime, those looking to help Takiyah can call the Durham district attorney to demand that charges be dropped against her and all anti-racist protesters: 919-808-3010. You can also donate to the bail fund: Durhamsolidaritycenter.org/bondfund.
Read more at WNCN.