A North Carolina district attorney says he plans to drop felony charges against eight protesters accused of toppling a Confederate statue last year.
The courtroom was packed as the last eight defendants in the case stemming from the toppling of a confederate statue in downtown Durham showed up with their attorney and lots of witnesses.
Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols said in an email Thursday that his office plans to try the defendants only on misdemeanor charges and that the felony charges would be dismissed.
Mikisa Thompson spoke outside the courthouse Thursday. She is the mother of Takiyah Thompson, a defendant captured on video helping to pull down the statue.
"America would have you to believe this country was built on principles such as equality, justice and truth," Mikisa Thompson said. "If this were true, my daughter would not even be on trial for tearing down a monument that stood to commemorate those who fought on the side of enslavement of Black people.”
Takiyah Thompson and seven others now face three misdemeanor charges of damage to real property, defacing a public monument and conspiring to deface a monument. The trial is set for February 19.
The statue of an anonymous rebel in front of a Durham government building was brought down Aug. 14 in the aftermath of a deadly white nationalist protest in Virginia. One Durham protester climbed a ladder to attach a rope while others pulled it down.