Gov. Cooper Calls For Removal Of Confederate Monuments

Aug 16, 2017

In comments posted online Tuesday night, Governor Roy Cooper called for the removal of all Confederate monuments from state property.

It comes after protesters tore down a Confederate monument in Durham Monday night.

Related: Durham Confederate Monument Toppled

Cooper also called on the General Assembly to repeal a 2015 law that prevents the removal or relocation of monuments.

“These monuments should come down,” Cooper said. “Our Civil War history is important, but it belongs in textbooks and museums .”

Cooper said he’s asked the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to determine the cost and logistics of removing Confederate monuments from state property as well as alternatives for their placement at museums or historical sites.

Also on Tuesday, Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said no one should get away with what happened to the controversial statue.

“I understand for some on both sides of the spectrum that there are feelings either way, but we as citizens of this community and this great nation, we need to sit down and be able to talk,” Andrews said, adding he would pursue felony charges against other protesters who were involved.

Meanwhile, NC Central student Takiyah Thompson was arrested Tuesday night. She identified herself as the person who climbed the statue, and attached the rope that brought it down.

“Black people are disadvantaged. Latinx people are disadvantaged. Queer people are disadvantaged,” Thompson said. “And that statue glorifies the conditions that oppressed people live in, and it had to go.”

Thompson was arrested moments later. Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, Dante Emmanuel Strobino, 34, and Peter Gull Gilbert, 36, were also arrested and accused of disorderly conduct, damage to real property, and inciting and participating in a riot. The last two are felony charges.  

The mangled remnants of the Durham statue are sitting in storage, and it's not yet clear what will happen to the statue or whether the city will replace it.