This article first appeared at American Lens News on August 16, 2017.
Three more of the vandals who toppled a statue of a Confederate soldier in Durham on Monday have been arrested.
The arrests follow that of Takiyah Thomspon, a member of the communist group, World Workers Party.
According to the Durham Sheriff’s office those three vandals arrested are:
- Dante Emmanuel Strobino (DOB 12/22/1981) of 804 Parker Street, Durham.
- Ngoc Loan Tran (DOB 8/7/1993) of 621 West Markham Avenue, Durham.
- Peter Gull Gilbert (DOB 4/3/1978) of 601 Swan Street in Durham.
The Durham Sheriff’s office says that they are charged with the following misdemeanor and felony charges:
- 14-132 Disorderly conduct by injury to a statue (Class II Misdemeanor)
- 14-127 Damage to real property (statue as a fixture (Class I Misdemeanor)
- 14-288.2(c) Participation in a riot with property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class H Felony)
- 14-288.2(e) inciting others to riot where there is property damage in excess of $1,500 (Class F Felony)
These are the same charges applied to the first person to be arrested, Takiyah Thompson.
A mugshot for Gilbert was yet available. [Updated: Photo now available]
The Sheriff’s Office statement also says that they are still executing search warrants and additional arrests are expected.
All three are associated with the Communist World Workers Party.
Both Strabino and Tran were arrested at the hearing set for Takiyah Thompson at around 9:13 am this morning. While being led away in handcuffs, the pair chanted “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!”
Both posted a $10,000 bond each and were released just after 11:15 a.m. this morning.
Vandals: We’re innocent. Charges Outrageous.
Loan Tran, after being released, gave a statement to the Durham Sun:
“The charges are outrageous. The charges are unnecessary,” said Tran.
“But we know that the charges reflect a deeply racist and white supremacist system that is more interested in preserving its relics of white supremacy than actually taking on the issues that so many people in our community are concerned about when it comes to policing or um incarceration or um… education justice or any of the other issues that are impacting our people every single day,” Tran stated.
Tran also spoke to CBS North Carolina.
“The will of the people in Durham, Charlottesville, and across the country is that we need to tear down these Confederate monuments. We need to tear down every prestige of white supremacy,” Tran said.
Tran took aim at the Governor, who has so far refused to condemn the vandalism or name the responsible parties.
“I think clearly in Durham we showed Gov. Roy Cooper that if he didn’t take action, then we would. So to Roy Cooper, we say you’re welcome because it wasn’t his original idea.”
According to WNCN, Strobino claimed they are all innocent.
“We’re innocent. We demand the charges be dropped. The county and the district attorney should do the right thing and drop the charges,” said Strobino.
WNCN also reported that Thompson said the movement to tear down all such statutes will keep going. Thompson called these actions “revolutions.”
“There’s revolutions taking place all throughout the country right now and the revolution won’t be stopped,” said Thompson.
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