Takiyah Fatima Thompson, the 22-year-old woman who climbed the Confederate statue in Durham, slipped a noose around the around the neck and helped toppled it, has been arrested by Durham deputies and charged with two misdemeanors and two felonies, CBS North Carolina reports.
Thompson is a student at North Carolina Central University, an HBCU, and Durham’s ABC11 reports that she is “a member of the Communist-platform Workers World Party.”
Dr. Yaba Blay, an endowed chair at NCCU, believes Durham officials are trying to make an example out of her student “in this moment of Charlottesville.”
In an Instagram post, Blay added, “She’s brave, but she’s afraid,” before asking followers to support Thompson’s bond fund. Durham County Sheriff Michael D. Andrews has threatened protesters by promising to prosecute them to the full extent of the law. He told reporters, “No one is getting away with this.” Thompson’s arrest won’t be the last. Dr. Blay wrote, “At the same time that she was being arrested, the homes of her comrades were raided by the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.”
A few minutes before her arrest, Thompson spoke at the press conference staged on campus. She told CBS North Carolina, “What we did was not only right, but it was just. I did the right thing. Everyone who was there, the people did the right thing.”
N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper seems to side with “the people,” though he wants the monuments removed in a safer way. Cooper calls for the removal of all Confederate monuments on public property and asked the General Assembly to repeal the 2015 ban on removal of Confederate statues. Thompson told reporters that Tuesday’s protest could have been avoided had the Assembly sided with the people in 2015.