Police Arrest Two Suspects Sunday In Protest Over Confederate Statue

Apr 22, 2019

The Women of the Confederacy monument was a gift to the state by Confederate veteran Col. Ashley Horne, and was unveiled in June 1914. It was the wish of Colonel Horne to recognize the suffering and hardship faced by women during this tragic period.
Credit Jason deBruyn / WUNC

Police have arrested two people they say defaced a Confederate monument in Raleigh.  The arrests were made Sunday during a protest at the North Carolina Women of the Confederacy monument near the statehouse.

Police say the protesters climbed onto the statues, and covered the heads with Ku Klux Klan hoods. The protestors face charges of defacing a public monument and disorderly conduct. Police said that Enzo Niebuhr and Jody Anderson climbed onto the statues and covered the heads with Ku Klux Klan hoods.

A group called "Smash Racism Raleigh" said it was holding a peaceful protest to provide context about the history of the statues. It said Niebuhr and Anderson should not have been arrested.

The statue, which was erected in 1914, stretches 7-feet-tall and depicts an older woman sitting next to a young boy with a sword in hand. The woman, who is holding a book, represents "the women in the South as the custodians of history," as University of North Carolina's Commemorative Landscapes of North Carolina project describes.

The Monument to North Carolina Women of the Confederacy sits on top of a granite base with bronze bas-relief plaques and was a gift to the state by Confederate veteran Col. Ashley Horne who wished to recognize the suffering and hardship faced by women during the civil war period.

This is not the first time the statue has been veiled in white hoods symbolic of the KKK. In March, police accused 42-year-old Jon Williams of Raleigh of placing hoods on the statue. According to news reports at the time, Williams was charged with misdemeanor littering.

In the summer of 2018, a committee of the North Carolina Historical Commission determined the statue to be "an over-representation and over-memorialization of a difficult era in NC history."

But, the committee also said their hands were tied based on a 2015 state law approved by the Republican-controlled General Assembly that prevents the permanent removal of most Confederate monuments on state and local property without legislative approval. The law also severely limits their relocation.