Activists Who Tore Down Durham Confederate Statue Cleared of Charges
All charges against protestors have been dropped.
The 12 defendants that were charged in connection with the August 2017 toppling of a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C. were cleared of all charges Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday, Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols announced that he would be dropping the charges against the final five defendants in the case. On Monday, the case’s judge acquitted one defendant and dismissed charges against two others stating the prosecution failed to prove the defendants were guilty of injury to real property, defacing a public building/monument, and conspiracy.
Two days after the fatal white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, protesters successfully toppled a Confederate Soldiers Monument outside the old Durham County Courthouse in North Carolina. Some subsequently faced charges related to defacing, and conspiracy to deface a public property or building.
“This victory is the result of one thing and one thing alone: the conviction and determination of a mighty movement against white supremacy and the racist system that it upholds,” Defend Durham, an umbrella group for activists, said in a public statement Tuesday. “Power to the people! Fighting white supremacy is not a crime!”
T. Greg Doucette, a Durham criminal-defense attorney spoke to The Root, describing the ordeal as, “a waste of taxpayer money in the name of the Confederacy of all things.”