The Durham DA announced yesterday that the felony charges will stand against the other vandals who ripped down a Confederate statue in front of the Durham Courthouse earlier this year.
ABC11 reported that the attorney for the vandals, Scott Holmes, claimed that the Durham DA had indicated the felony charges had been dropped. ABC11’s report called Holmes’ comments about dismissal, “premature at best.”
This is not the first time the attorney for the accused has caused controversy. Scott Holmes tweeted out a claim about the ‘KKK coming’, which turned out to be a hoax that nearly shut down the whole city of Durham.
Holmes’ tweet was immediately retweeted by Durham Councilwoman, Jillian Johnson. Johnson has close ties to multiple social justice groups who took part in the protests.
There were at least eight individuals charged with felonies in the case and nine charged overall.
Of total of those charged in the incident, three people had their charges dropped by the prosecutor on November 9th. Aaron Caldwell, Taylor Cook, and Myles Spignor had two felony and three misdemeanor charges against them dismissed.
Those with felonies still pending against them include, Elena Everett, Peter Gilbert, Raul Jiminez, Dante Strobino, Takiyah Thompson, Loan Tran.
Charges for the vandals varied for each defendant. Charges applied in the various cases included the following:
- 14-132 Disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II Misdemeanor)
- 14-132 (a) -Deface or Injure Public Monument (Misdemeanor)
- 14-127 Damage to real property (statue as a fixture (Class I Misdemeanor)
- 14.160 – Injury to Personal Property Less Than $200 (Misdemeanor)
- 14.288.2 – Riot; Inciting to Riot to Cause Property Damage (Felony)
- 14-288.2(c) Participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H Felony)
- 14-288.2(e) inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F Felony)
The first arrested was Takiyah Thompson, a self-identified communist, who was filmed mounting a ladder to tie a noose around the neck of the statue.
The majority of those the other vandals have also been identified as members of a communist group called the World Workers Party.
At the time, Governor Cooper offered no condemnation of the act and the governor’s office did not response to request for comment at the time.
A group calling itself “Defend Durham” has called for social justice warriors to “do it like Durham” by toppling other statues nationwide.