Law Enforcement will pursue charges for protesters that toppled Confederate statue in North Carolina

DURHAM, North Carolina – The Durham County Sheriff’s Office says they will pursue vandalism charges after protesters pulled down a Confederate Statue during a demonstration on Monday.

The statue of a Confederate soldier was on public property, which is owned and maintained by the Durham County government. The pedestal of the statue says, “In memory of the boys who wore gray.”

Sheriff Mike Andrews said in a statement, “As the Sheriff, I am not blind to the offensive conduct of some demonstrators nor will I ignore their criminal conduct. 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.”

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) also expressed concern about the actions of protesters, even while expressing sympathy for their cause.

The sheriff’s statement notes, “My deputies showed great restraint and respect for the constitutional rights of the group expressing their anger and disgust for recent events in our country. Racism and incivility have no place in our country or Durham.”

The sheriff also called into question the treatment of demonstrators at future protests, writing, “Recently, the Sheriff’s Office’s decision to arrest demonstrators at a public meeting was challenged in the court of law. My Agency has been the focus of demonstrations for more than a year, most of them peaceful. However, now may be the time for Durham to consider what is the best way to respond to continued protests while respecting every resident’s right to voice their opinion.”