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University of North Carolina students have gathered to protest near a Confederate monument.

University of North Carolina students have gathered to protest near a Confederate monument


Updated August 22, 2017 07:51 PM EDT

Updated August 15, 2017 09:15 PM EDT

Authorities in North Carolina arrested a woman they say is responsible for tearing down a bronze statue of a Confederate soldier.

During a news conference, Takiyah Thompson identified herself as the woman who climbed the statue Monday night in Durham. Thompson defended her actions, arguing that Confederate statues represent white supremacy.

Sheriff's deputies took Thompson away in handcuffs after the news conference ended, but it is still unclear what charges she may face. Previously, authorities said those responsible for tearing down the statue would face felony charges.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted Tuesday saying Confederate monuments, like the one toppled Monday night, "should come down." In a blog post on the website Medium, Cooper said he hopes the state legislature will repeal a law that prevents state and local governments from removing these statues permanently and limiting their relocation.

"Some people cling to the belief that the Civil War was fought over states’ rights. But history is not on their side," he wrote. "We cannot continue to glorify a war against the United States of America fought in the defense of slavery. These monuments should come down."

Updated August 15, 2017 11:11 AM EDT

Durham County (N.C.) Sheriff Mike Andrews said Tuesday that investigators are working to identify and charge those who toppled a Confederate statue outside a courthouse Monday.

Andrews said in a statement that officers took video throughout the protest and are using the footage in the investigation.

Officers did not intervene as the statue was toppled. Andrews said he was aware of the potential for vandalism after meeting with county leaders and protest organizers but chose to exercise restraint.

County officials did not immediately respond to inquiries as to whether the statue would be put back up.

Protesters toppled a Confederate statue outside a courthouse in Durham, North Carolina, on Monday evening, WTVD reports.

Video posted to Twitter shows a man playing a guitar while a woman repeatedly kicks a toppled statue that dates back to 1924.

The destruction of the Confederate soldier monument in Durham comes just days after violence erupted at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Three people were killed and dozens more were injured when white nationalists and counter-protesters clashed.

The Associated Press and our affiliate WJLA contributed to this report.

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