Durham protester makes plea to sheriff

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
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Durham protester makes plea to sheriff

DURHAM, North Carolina (WTVD) -- Takiyah Thompson, who admitted to ABC11 she helped bring down the Confederate statue in Durham, is expected in court Wednesday morning.

She's making a plea to the Durham County sheriff.

"We're actually calling for the Sheriff and the County Commissioner to drop all charges," Thompson told ABC11 Tuesday. "There's a right side and a wrong side. We're asking the County Commissioner and the Sheriff to stand on the right side and not to stand on the side of white supremacy in this instance."

RELATED: Deputies arrest protester who helped pull down Durham Confederate statue

Tuesday, Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said nobody is getting away with damaging the Confederate statue.

Tuesday evening, sheriff's deputies arrested Thompson and took her to jail.

Thompson, who is out on bond, faces two felony charges, including participating in a riot causing more than $1,500 worth of property damage and inciting others to riot.

The 22-year-old also faces two misdemeanors, including disorderly conduct and property damage.

Before her arrest, Thompson admitted to ABC11 she's the one seen in the now viral video, climbing the ladder to get to the Confederate statue outside the old Durham County Court House and attaching the rope to it, so fellow protesters from the Worker's World Party could pull it down.

Demonstrators gathered in the Bull City Monday to show solidarity with the victims of the Charlottesville car ramming attack. Tensions escalated and the statue in Durham was left mangled, while demonstrators kicked it.

RELATED: Gov. Roy Cooper: Confederate monuments 'should come down'

"Vandalism is not a strong enough word," Thompson said. "We destroyed it. It's gone. And that's what we plan to do with white supremacy."

Members of the Worker's World Party believe the statues are a reflection of racism, not historic heritage.

The Durham County Sheriff's Department has not responded to Thompson's request to drop charges, but said Tuesday they'll search for others involved and expect to make more arrests.

Thompson's group also said they're also not done yet when it comes to protesting against Confederate statues in the state.

Supporters have set up a legal defense fund to help her fight the charges.

Meanwhile, in response to Thompson's request, a Durham County Sheriff's Office spokesperson says Sheriff Andrews made his position clear about seeking criminal charges.