A college student was arrested Tuesday for toppling a nearly century-old statue of a Confederate soldier Monday in North Carolina in front of a cheering crowd.
Takiya Thompson, 22, brought up a ladder into the statue and used a rope to pull down the Confederate Soldiers Monument which was dedicated in 1924, according to The Associated Press. A diverse audience of dozens cheered as a soldier holding a rifle’s statue fell in front of an old courthouse building that houses local government offices in Durham County.
Seconds after the monument fell, protesters began kicking at the monument that was crumpled.
Im tired of white supremacy maintaining its foot in my neck and the necks of people who look like me, Thompson stated in a news conference. That statue glorifies the states which oppressed people live in, and it needed to go.
Thompson, a student at black North Carolina Central University, confronts vandalism felony and misdemeanor charges, such as for participation and property damage in a riot, according to the Durham County Sheriffs Office.
Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews stated Tuesday that his deputies were working to identify others involved in the incident and intend to pursue felony charges against them.
The Durham demonstration was in response to a nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, which result in three deaths. Even though the violence in Virginia has prompted new talk by government officials about bringing down symbols of the Confederacy around the South, North Carolina has a law protecting them, according to The Associated Press. The 2015 law prevents removing monuments on public property without consent.
In reaction to the statue in Durham being ripped down, Democratic North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted: The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is improper but there is a better way to remove those monuments.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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