On Thursday, dozens of people in Durham lined up to turn themselves in to the police for tearing down a Confederate statue. The people who lined up were acting to stand in solidarity with Takiyah Thompson, who was arrested for helping to topple a Confederate statue.
According to the Herald Sun, only four activists were able to actually turn themselves in, while about 100 others went to the jail in an effort to get the charges against Thompson and the others dropped.
37-year-old Elena Everett, 24-year-old Aaron Caldwell, 26-year-old Raul Mauro Arce Jimenez, and 24-year-old Taylor Alexander Jun Cook were able to successfully turn themselves in.
Eventually, Durham officials stopped people from entering the Durham County Detention Center.
“It was a community all together who did that, who was responsible for that toppling of racism,” activist Lamont Lilly said in a speech to the crowd. “Very often, it does take one person to be the spark — to be the initiator, like sister Bree Newsome. But it takes a movement, it takes a mass of people to support that — and keep those movements sustainable.”
A college student and activist at North Carolina Central University has been arrested and charged for assisting in the toppling of a Confederate statue in Durham, North Carolina.
Takiya Thompson, 22, has been 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.
Thompson and other protesters helped bring down the Durham County courthouse monument, which honored the Confederate States of America on Monday. The next day, Thompson spoke about why they took action into their own hands.
“The people decided to take matters into our own hands and remove the statue,” Thompson told reporters. “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.”
Thompson was the one filmed climbing a ladder, tying a rope around the statue’s neck and helping the crowd pull it down. Durham County Sheriff Michael D. Andrews told WNCN he used the footage to identify Thompson.
“As the Sheriff, I am not blind to the offensive conduct of some demonstrators nor will I ignore their criminal conduct,” Andrews said. “With the help of video captured at the scene, my investigators are working to identify those responsible for the removal and vandalism of the statue.”
If you want to donate to the Durham Solidarity Center, click here.
(Photo: Daniel Hosterman)