Construction crews remove base of Durham Confederate monument in front of courthouse

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Construction crews were seen removing the base of the Confederate monument in downtown Durham on Tuesday morning.

A crane was brought in to lift the base of the monument with several men assisting on East Main Street. The bulk of the structure was toppled in August 2017 shortly after Heather Heyer was killed in Charlottesville, Va.

Heyer was part of a group counter-protesting a white supremacist rally in downtown Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017, when James Alex Fields Jr., driving a Dodge Charger, plowed into the crowd at high speed. The incident left 19 people injured.

The monument, which was formerly in front of the Durham County courthouse, depicted a Confederate soldier holding a rifle and was erected in 1924 and inscribed on it are the words "in memory of the boys who wore the gray."

Durham County officials said the stone base and obelisk were removed "for reasons of the safety and welfare of the public and to protect the remaining portions of the statue."

"At this time, no decision has been made regarding any type of replacement that might be erected in the vacant space on the grounds of the Durham County Administration Building," county officials said in a news release Tuesday.

In June, crews removed a Confederate monument from the state Capitol grounds in Raleigh.
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