There people who participated in protests that resulted in the toppling of a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina have been charged for their actions. This includes two men, Dante Emmanuel Strobino and Ngoc Loan Tran, who were charged with misdemeanors and felonies involving property damage. However, more headlines are taking notice of the charges leveled upon the woman who stood behind the statue while it was toppled.
Twenty two year old Takiya Thompson has been arrested in Durham and slapped with two felonies, amongst other charges, over her participation in the destruction of the monument after violence in Charlottesville last weekend. Thompson personally scaled the Durham statue and put one of the straps around it that was used to pull it down. Here’s what she told reporters before her arrest:
“I chose to do that because I am tired of living in fear. I am tired of white supremacy keeping its foot on my neck and the neck of people who look like me. I was inspired by a history of black activists and history of black organizing … The people decided to take matters into our own hands and remove the statue. 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.”
A law was passed in North Carolina in 2015 that explicitly bans the removal of monuments without the approval of the state. So far, North Carolina has repeatedly ruled against the removal of Confederate statues, but Democratic Governor Roy Cooper is taking another look at whether dismantling Confederate artifacts would be appropriate. “The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable,” Gov. Cooper stated. “But there is a better way to remove these monuments.”
According to the New York Post, Thompson was charged with “disorderly conduct by injury to a statue, damage to real property, participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 — and inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500, according to the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.” It’s the latter two that come with damages in excess of $1,500 that are the felony charges. Those could lead to 2-3 years in jail for each charge.