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4 more charged for Durham Confederate statue vandalism; 8 total arrests made

Posted August 17

— Four more people were arrested and charged Thursday for vandalizing a Confederate statue earlier this week, bringing the total number of arrests to eight.

Three of the new arrests came during a morning rally where protesters dressed all in black gathered at the Durham courthouse in support of the people charged earlier in the case. Speakers at the rally said they had gathered to get the Durham County Sheriff's Office to drop the charges and to advocate for the removal of all Confederate statues.

Authorities on Thursday morning charged Aaron Alexander Caldwell, 24, Raul Mauro Arce Jimenez, 26, and Elena Everett, 36.

On Thursday afternoon, Taylor Alexander Jun Cook, 24, surrendered to the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

Everett said that she does not have any regrets about her involvement in vandalizing the statue, despite the charges against her.

"The lawmakers in North Carolina have made it impossible to take those things down legally. Communities have the right to remove symbols of racism and white supremacy from their community," Everett said. "I hope people all across the south look at Durham as an example."

Other protesters tried to surrender for the destruction of the statue, the sheriff's office said, but authorities turned them away if they didn't have an arrest warrant.

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Sheriff Mike Andrews said in a statement that the protesters were welcome if they obtained a permit and remained peaceful.

“The Sheriff’s Office supports the right to peaceable assembly," Andrews said. "As the custodian of the courthouse, the safety and security of visitors and employees will remain a top priority for the Sheriff’s Office. We have taken steps to ensure the daily operation of the courthouse can proceed without disruption. I expect participants in the planned rally to obtain a permit and engage in a peaceful demonstration. My Agency will continue to maintain the safety and security of the building.”

Dante Emmanuel Strobino, 35, and Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, both of Durham, were arrested at the Durham County Courthouse on Wednesday, where Takiyah Fatima Thompson, who climbed the statue, was making her first appearance after she was arrested Tuesday. Peter Hull Gilbert, 39, also of Durham, was arrested later Wednesday afternoon.

Tran said a large crowd turned out at the court house Thursday "to send a message to the sheriff's department, to send a message to the county commissioners that if you target some of us for tearing down white supremacy, you'll have to arrest us all."

Tran, Strobino and Gilbert appeared in court Thursday morning and were represented pro bono by attorney Scott Holmes, who said the sheriff's actions against those charged are out of line and noted that the statue was taken down without violence.

"The folks who have been charged with riot have been overcharged," Holmes said. "I'm also concerned that the sheriff has used search warrants to ransack the homes of people involved for an act of vandalism and not violence. It seems to be another indication of overreaching or overcharging."

All eight people are charged with disorderly conduct by injury to a statue and damage to real property, which are both misdemeanors, and participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 and inciting others to riot where property damage exceeds $1,500, which are both felonies.

Despite the charges, all are standing by their actions.

"Durham will not be targeted into submission. We are organized, we are strong, we are steadfast and we will keep fighting until white supremacy is torn down in this country and all around the world," Tran said.

Caldwell, Jimenez and Everett are all expected to appear in court Friday and a similar crowd is expected to protest outside the courthouse.


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  • Linda Tally Aug 22, 1:37 p.m.
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    I would not drop charges in these current cases (that would negate the message), but I believe man is correct when he says "riot" charges are neither correct or warranted. Disorderly conduct? Probably. Damage to real property, absolutely. Riot participation - not factual. There was no riot.

  • Janet Ghumri Aug 22, 11:38 a.m.
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    View quoted thread

    unfortunately, Manson will enjoy the spectacle but this particular can of worms was opened by Dylan Roof.

  • Ron Corey Aug 17, 9:56 p.m.
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    That statue being toppled over will make better employment opportunities for young black people in Durham right?
    That statue being toppled will make the out-of-wedlock birthrate among young black people go down right?
    That statue being toppled will cause young black men in Durham to stop shooting and killing each other right?

  • John Archer Aug 17, 8:29 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Would you please explain to me WHY the KKK would topple a statue of MLK, and then tell me how it is anything remotely similar to what happened here?

  • Nathaniel Lincoln Aug 17, 6:14 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    Sure Tom, a bronze statue of MLK gets toppled by kkk and I'm sure you would feel EXACTLY same way?? Suuurrreee . Your logic=Pathetic

  • Wayne Hill Aug 17, 3:15 p.m.
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    Umm, do not most prisons have notorious Aryan gangs? I would hate to be these snowflakes, as there are no coloring books in prison.

  • Scott Satalino Aug 17, 1:47 p.m.
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    The Republican Party was founded on their opposition to Slavery and the ideas of White Supremacy.

    Anyone who claims to be a Republican (aka the Party of Lincoln) and does not support the removal of these shameful Statues and Monuments has turned their back on history, America, the essence of the Republican Party, and God.

  • Scott Satalino Aug 17, 1:42 p.m.
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    “A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery.”

    South Carolina Declaration of causes for secession,
    December 24, 1860

  • Scott Satalino Aug 17, 1:38 p.m.
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    “Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery — the greatest material interest of the world.” - Mississippi Declaration of causes for secession

    “They assume that the negro is equal, and hence conclude that he is entitled to equal privileges and rights with the white man. If their premises were correct, their conclusions would be logical and just but their premise being wrong, their whole argument fails.” -Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy -Cornerstone Speech, March 21, 1861

    “Our new government is founded upon … the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.” -Alexander H. Stephens, Vice President of the Confederacy
    Cornerstone Speech, March 21, 1861

  • Scott Satalino Aug 17, 1:35 p.m.
    user avatar

    The Confederacy: In Its Own Words

    The desire to preserve slavery was the cause for secession by Southern states. But 150 years after the war, many continue to cling to myths. As recently as 2011, 48 percent of Americans in a Pew Research Center survey cited states’ rights as the reason for the war, compared to 38 percent citing slavery. This finding is all the more astonishing because a review of statements and documents by Confederate leaders makes their intentions clear. The following is a sample:

    "We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.”
    Texas Declaration of causes for secession, February 2, 186