Durham County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Takiyah Thompson on Tuesday, alleging she climbed the ladder and placed the rope around the neck of the Confederate statue that was subsequently pulled down.
On Monday, WNCN named Thompson as a protester in Durham when the statue came down. They quoted her saying, “People can be mobilized and people are angry and when enough people are angry, we don’t have to look to politicians to sit around in air conditions and do nothing when we can do things ourselves.”
Reports soon emerged that Durham County Sheriff’s officials videoed the protesters pulling down the statue but made no arrests, even though the statue was on county property. On Tuesday morning, Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews issued a statement, saying that his office was using the video footage to identify protesters who had taken part in the incident.
Andrews posted his statement to Facebook, part of which said:
I am grateful the events that unfolded Monday evening did not result in serious injury or the loss of life, but the planned demonstration should serve as a sobering example of the price we all pay when civil disobedience is no longer civil. Before the protest, my staff met with our community partners to discuss how to safely and appropriately respond to the protest.
County leaders were aware of the risk of damage to the Confederate statute, as well as, the potential risk of injury to the public and officers should deputies attempt to control the crowd.
Collectively, we decided that restraint and public safety would be our priority. 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.
ABC 11 reports that Thompson was arrested Tuesday afternoon and charged with:
- disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II Misdemeanor)
- damage to real property (statue as a fixture (Class I Misdemeanor)
- participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H Felony)
- inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F Felony)
Before her arrest, Thompson described the Confederate statue as a symbol of “white supremacy” but she did not mention that the Confederacy was a Democrat nation, run by Democrat slave holders, who fought a Civil War against the Republicans who secured emancipation. Many of those same Democrats then launched the Ku Klux Klan to keep recently freed blacks from voting Republican in the South.