Demonstrators topple 2 statues from Confederate monument outside NC Capitol building

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Demonstrators climbed and successfully toppled two statues from the Confederate monument outside of the North Carolina Capitol building on Friday evening.

Earlier in the evening, after marching in celebration of Juneteeth, demonstrators threw yellow ropes around two of the statues on the 75-foot tall Confederate monument on the ground of the North Carolina State Capitol. The demonstrators then pulled on the ropes--one of the statues swaying--but neither figure fell.



Police officers then intervened, preventing the demonstrators from completely pulling the statue down before leaving the site. State Public Safety officials said law enforcement was ordered to stand down by State Capitol Police Chief Hawley after several officers were injured in the initial engagement.

"After the initial attempt to remove the statue was prevented and deescalated by law enforcement, Chief Hawley says officers did remain on the grounds to continue maintaining public safety. In the initial engagement, several officers received injuries," NC Department of Public Safety officials said.

On a second attempt, demonstrators returned to the monument and successfully removed both statues before dragging them down W. Hargett Street. One Confederate statue is now hanging from a light post along W. Hargett Street and another on the steps of the Wake County courthouse.

WATCH: Demonstrators remove Confederate statues from the monument in front of North Carolina Capitol building
EMBED More News Videos

Demonstrators pulled down two statues from the Confederate monument outside the NC Capitol building before dragging them away.



During the protest, James Sebastian Storelli, 28, of Raleigh was arrested and charged with first-degree trespassing enter/remain and resisting a public officer.

During the protest, James Sebastian Storelli, 28, of Raleigh was arrested and charged with first-degree trespassing enter/remain and resisting a public officer.



Raleigh police said other arrests and charges may be coming.

As heavy rains moved into downtown Raleigh on Friday night, crowds began to disperse from the scene.

Police have since removed the statue from the light pole and the front of the Wake County courthouse.


After the tearing down of the Confederate statues, ABC11 caught up with Raleigh social justice activist Kerwin Pittman.

"To any form of democracy, there's no smooth road. So however they come down, so be it," Pittman said. "If the powers that be are not willing to officially take them down, as you can see, the people want them removed, the people want them down, but yet they're still up. So what you're seeing right now is outcry from the people saying they want these Confederate monuments down in the city of Raleigh."

In a message to the city of Raleigh Pittman said this, "It would be wise to the city of Raleigh, any other Confederate monuments you may have, if you do not want them destroyed, from the people, it would be wise for you to move them off of the grounds and put them in private property."
EMBED More News Videos

Pittman said the City of Raleigh should remove its Confederate monuments from public spaces and put them on private property.

Copyright © 2020 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.