Fourth person charged in destruction of Durham Confederate statue

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- The Durham County Sheriff's Office says a fourth person is charged in the destruction of a Durham Confederate statue.

The latest:

  • 4 protestors arrested total
  • Governor calls for removal of all memorials on state property
  • Protesters call for all charged to be dropped

Peter Gull Gilbert, 39, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon. Two others - identified as 35-year-old Dante Emmanuel Strobino and 24-year-old Ngoc Loan Tran - were arrested outside a court hearing for 22-year-old Takiyah Thompson Wednesday morning.

The four are 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)

Thompson was taken into custody shortly after protesters held a news conference Tuesday afternoon at North Carolina Central University. Thompson is seen in video climbing a ladder to the top of the statue at Monday's protest to tie a rope around its neck before the crowd tore it down.

WATCH: Deputies arrest Thompson
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Raw Video: Durham County deputies arrest protester who helped topple Confederate statue.

The Communist-platform Workers World Party Durham chapter - which was one of the organizers of Monday's protest - said it has set up a legal defense fund to help fight her case in court.

The protesters have also called for the dropping of any charges related to the incident.

"The people decided to take matters into our own hands and remove the statue," said Thompson, a member of the Workers World Party and a student at N.C. Central University. "We are tired of waiting on politicians who could have voted to remove the white supremacist statues years ago, but they failed to act. So we acted."

Tran also spoke with ABC11 after her arrest.

"More and more each day, we know what side the people are on - the people are on the side of freedom and justice and liberation," said Tran. "And the folks who are arresting people, the folks who are brutalizing people, the folks who are running this jail and complying with this right to premise the system are on the wrong side of history."

Durham County officials called for a "respectful and productive" dialogue on race issues Tuesday following the destruction the statue. At a news conference, Durham County manager Wendell Davis called pulling the statue down "unlawful and inappropriate."

As the state has a law mandating the protection of Confederate monuments, Davis said county officials will be consulting with state officials about what to do with the heavily damaged monument.

Also at Tuesday's news conference, Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews addressed criticism that his officers did not intervene as the statue was pulled down. He said using pepper spray was considered, but leaders decided on restraint to avoid injuries and further chaos.

"Last night we witnessed a blatant violation of the law. No one is getting away with damaging the Confederate statue. We will pursue felony charges," he said.

However, Tran said they won't back down.

"We refuse to back down, this is clearly intimidation. They want to isolate us, they want to instill fear, but we're organizing until all of this gets torn down."
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