On Tuesday the Governor of North Carolina stated that he wants to bring down Confederate monuments around the state.
His comments come after the violence that occurred in Virginia and the toppling of a Confederate statue in his own state.
ABC reports that the call, from Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, to remove monuments came as the people responsible for tearing down a Confederate statue in Durham on Monday night were being arrested.
“We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery,” Cooper said in a statement. “These monuments should come down.”
Around the time of the announcement by the Governor, deputies were arresting a woman who climbed the Durham statue to tie a rope around it. The rope was then used by protesters to tear the statue down. Some protesters began kicking the bronze statues once it had hit the floor while others sat on it for photo opportunities.
During a news conference, which was held on Tuesday by protest organizers, Takiyah Thompson admitted that she was the woman who climbed the statue, claiming she was justified to do so as a response to white supremacists.
“The statue had to go, and it’s linked to white supremacy that we see today,” said the college student.
Unfortunately for her, sheriff’s deputies arrested her after the news conference. According to the sheriff’s office, Thompson has been charged with two felonies related to inciting and participating in a riot that damaged property, along with two misdemeanors. Investigators said they expect to make other arrests.
A 2015 law prohibits the removal of Confederate monuments without the approval of the General Assembly, which is Republican controlled.
According to Cooper, he was moved to act on the issue after the protest at Durham and the events in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Organizers of the Durham protest also claimed that they acted in response to Charlottesville.
Law enforcement officers were present as the statue was toppled but did not intervene. Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews claimed that restraint was used because of the risk of injuries if his deputies moved into the protest.
“Had I ordered my deputies to engage a hostile crowd, there would have been serious injuries,” he claimed. “Statues can be replaced. Lives cannot.”
Andrews did state that he would pursue felony charges for those responsible for the destruction of the monument. “Let me be clear. No one is getting away with what happened yesterday,” he said reassuringly.
“I’ve walked by this statue several times in the last few weeks. And I’ve wondered, if it is appropriate,” said Emily Yeatts, an attorney in Durham. “If there IS a way to remember and honor, as it says, ‘The boys who wore the gray,’ without also lending some legitimacy to the cause for which they fought. This statue has struck me as out of place in Durham, for some time. And while I was surprised to see the news footage last night, it seemed right.”
Watch the video of the toppling of the statue below.
Featured Image Via JONATHAN DREW/ THE ASSOCIATED PRESS