Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews says his office is working to identify individuals who pulled down the Confederate statue on Durham County property Monday night.
Andrews’ statement comes amid reports that sheriff’s officials were present when the statue was pulled down, videoing the act but not intervening to stop it or arrest those doing it.
Breitbart News reported that protesters placed a tow rope around the neck and shoulder of a Confederate statue and pulled it down from atop the monument on which it stood. WNCN reports that protesters took turns kicking the statue once it was on the ground, and at least one protester spat on it.
After the statue was pulled down, Durham’s The Herald-Sun reported, “Sheriff’s deputies recorded the event but did not intervene as a protester climbed a ladder and slipped a yellow, bungie-like cord around the soldier’s head and arm and a group pulled the cord.”
When protesters left the fallen statue and marched down the street, Durham Police Department officers “accompanied” them but made no arrests. Rather, Durham Police noted that the statue was on county property and “Durham County Sheriff’s Office has jurisdiction over all county buildings and landmarks.”
— Jonah Kaplan (@KaplanABC11) August 15, 2017
On August 15–the morning after the statue was pulled down–Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews posted a statement to Facebook:
I am grateful the events that unfolded Monday evening did not result in serious injury or the loss of life, but the planned demonstration should serve as a sobering example of the price we all pay when civil disobedience is no longer civil. Before the protest, my staff met with our community partners to discuss how to safely and appropriately respond to the protest. County leaders were aware of the risk of damage to the Confederate statute, as well as, the potential risk of injury to the public and officers should deputies attempt to control the crowd. Collectively, we decided that restraint and public safety would be our priority. As the Sheriff, I am not blind to the offensive conduct of some demonstrators nor will I ignore their criminal conduct. With the help of video captured at the scene, my investigators are working to identify those responsible for the removal and vandalism of the statue.
Sheriff Andrews went on to say, “I am asking both city and county leaders to establish guidelines and safe spaces for protesters to prevent demonstrations from becoming disruptive and as we witnessed in Charlottesville, dangerous.”
Representatives for Durham County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to inquiries from Breitbart News.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.