Four arrested in pulling down of Confederate statue

Protesters Topple Confederate Statue Outside NC Courthouse

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Three people were arrested Wednesday in Durham in connection with the toppling of a Confederate statue outside the old Durham County courthouse Monday evening.

The first person arrested and charged in the incident, 22-year-old Takiyah Fatima Thompson, made her first court appearance Wednesday morning.

 

Thompson was arrested Tuesday after the sheriff’s office said she helped destroy the near century-old monument.

Thompson was charged with:

  • Disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II Misdemeanor)
  • Damage to real property (statue as a fixture (Class I Misdemeanor)
  • Participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H Felony)
  • Inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F Felony)

Thompson, who had a lawyer with her, was quiet during her appearance. The judge ordered Thompson to come back to Durham County court on Sept. 12.

While Thompson was waiting for the judge to call her name, two people who were sitting in the courtroom were arrested.

Dante Emmanuel Strobino, 35, and Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, both of Durham, were arrested.

Both chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!” as they were being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.

According to the sheriff’s office, Strobino and Tran were both charged with the same crimes as Thompson:

  • Disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II Misdemeanor)
  • Damage to real property (statue as a fixture (Class I Misdemeanor)
  • Participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H Felony)
  • Inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F Felony)

Tran and Strobino had both posted their $10,000 bond by 11:15 a.m.

Following their release, Tran and Strobino spoke with CBS North Carolina.

“The will of the people in Durham, Charlottesville, and across the country is that we need to tear down these Confederate monuments. We need to tear down every prestige of white supremacy,” Tran said. “I think clearly in Durham we showed Gov. Roy Cooper that if he didn’t take action, then we would. So to Roy Cooper, we say you’re welcome, because it wasn’t his original idea.”

Strobino claimed they are all innocent.

“We’re innocent. We demand the charges be dropped. The county and the district attorney should do the right thing and drop the charges,” he said.

Thompson said that she, along with the others involved in Monday’s action, will keep organizing and continue their fight to get all the statues torn down.

“There’s revolutions taking place all throughout the country right now and the revolution won’t be stopped,” she said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., the Durham County Sheriff’s Office announced a fourth arrest in the case. Peter Gilbert, 39, of Durham, has been arrested and charged with the same four charges that Tran, Strobino and Thompson are facing.

The sheriff’s office said they’re continuing to search for others who participated in the destruction of the statue and more arrests are expected.

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