8 now charged in destruction of Confederate statue in Durham

Elaina Athans Image
Thursday, August 17, 2017
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8 now charged in destruction of Confederate statue in Durham

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Eight people are now charged in Monday's destruction of a Confederate statue next to the old courthouse in downtown Durham.

The latest:

  • 8 total charged in the case - more arrests expected
  • Arrests came after rally Thursday morning
  • Other protesters in court Thursday

Pictures of the 8 charged:

1 of 8
Elena Everett (image courtesy Durham County Sheriff's Office)
image courtesy Durham County Sheriff's Office

All eight are charged with:

  • 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
  • Injury to Personal Property in Excess of $200 (Misdemeanor)
  • Injury to Real Property (Misdemeanor)
  • Deface or Injure Public Monument (Misdemeanor)

Video of Monday's demonstration shows Takiyah Thompson using a ladder to climb up to place a nylon rope around the statue while others in the crowd pulled on the rope to yank the statue off its base. It tumbled to the ground and was crushed by the weight of its pedestal.

Many of those arrested have identified themselves as members of the Communist-platform Workers World Party Durham chapter - which was one of the organizers of Monday's protest. It said it has set up a legal defense fund.


Thursday, supporters rallied near the courthouse to ask Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews drop all charges.

"We're going to fight to tear down white supremacists, to challenge the racist beliefs, to challenge the Sheriff's," said Dante Strobino, who was charged in the incident Wednesday.

Despite the group's call to drop charges, a Durham County Sheriff's Office spokesperson told ABC11 Wednesday that Sheriff Andrews made his position clear about seeking criminal charges.

"Again let me say, no one is getting away with this," Sheriff Andrews said Monday during a news conference.

The Durham branch of the Workers World Party said it helped organize Monday's rally in response to the Charlottesville car ramming attack. The group is asking all Confederate statues in the state be removed.

Members of the group have told ABC11 that ripping down the statue, which they saw as a symbol of racism, was the best way to remove it.