Three arrested after Confederate Memorial protest in Pittsboro

PITTSBORO, N.C. (WTVD) -- Three people were arrested Saturday afternoon during the protest of a highly-contested Confederate Memorial in downtown Pittsboro.

Chatham County Sheriff's office said around 10 a.m., protestors and counter-protestors began to assemble on the sides of East Street near the Historic Courthouse, staying the bulk of the day before dispersing around 5 p.m.

Just after 2 p.m., deputies said there were 30 protestors and or counter-protestors in the area.

Courtesy of the Chatham County Sheriff's Office

In August, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to remove the Confederate Statue from in front of the Chatham County Historic Courthouse and tasked the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) with submitting a plan to by October 1 to do so. However, a county spokesperson told ABC11 that UDC did not submit a plan, and both sides legal representatives are currently discussing the matter. When they announced their decision in August, the Board of Commissioners had set a November 1 deadline to remove the statue from the property.

"Pittsboro didn't have an issue with monuments until the last year and a half and there is a lot division in this county it wasn't there before," said Robin Whittington, who protested the statue's planned removal.

"Seeing them standing over there ... I was worried that people driving thru Pittsboro would think that represented us, and that does not represent Pittsboro. Pittsboro is a good town," said David Freeman, a counter-protestor.

Despite the Board's vote, there has been debate whether the UDC gifted the statue to the county, which would make it public. If so, it would be protected under a 2015 law which limits the removal and alteration of monuments on public property. The statue has been in place since 1907.
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