N.C. Activist Who Helped Tear Down Confederate Statue Arrested on Felony Charges
Takiyah Thompson, 22, is facing felony charges after helping a group of protesters tear down a Confederate statue in Durham
Police arrested a 22-year-old activist who helped tear down a Confederate statue in North Carolina on Monday – following the deadly car attack at a rally of white nationalists and white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Authorities said Takiyah Thompson tied a rope around the neck of a statue of an armed Confederate soldier before she, along with a cheering crowd, pulled it to the ground, CBS News reports.
She was arrested on Tuesday and has been charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, damage to real property, felony participation in riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 and felony inciting others to riot, jail records show.
Her bond was set at $10,000 and Durham’s World Worker’s Party has set up a legal defense fund to help fight her case, WTVD reports. The arrest came shortly after the protesters spoke out about the act in a news conference at North Carolina Central University.
It is unclear whether Thompson has entered a plea or retained an attorney.
Officials said more arrests are expected.
Demonstrators on Monday chanted “No KKK! No fascist USA” in front of the old Durham County courthouse before pulling down the statue, which depicted a Confederate soldier atop an engraved pedestal that read, “In memory of ‘the boys who wore the gray.’ ”
The 15-foot monument, which was constructed in 1924, also features a Confederate flag.
Video footage of the incident showed the cheering protesters kicking and spitting on the fallen statue after it toppled to the ground.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper spoke out against the act in a tweet on Monday, writing, “The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments #durham – RC.”
After Thompson’s release, officials with Durham’s World Worker’s Party shared a photo of the activist on Facebook, writing, “Takiyah ‘Take Em Down’ Thompson is free! She says, ‘the fight continues!’ ”
Meanwhile, officials in Baltimore quietly removed four confederate monuments throughout the city on Tuesday night, CBS Baltimore reports.
Monuments honoring Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson were removed as crowds looked on.
Authorities also removed a monument to Confederate women and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney, who affirmed slavery in 1857 with the infamous Dred Scott ruling.
The incidents come after a car plowed through a crowd of counter-protestors at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring several others.
James Alex Fields Jr., 20, has been accused as the driver and was arrested on a murder charge.