Cooper Fails to Condemn Communist Group Behind Durham Statue Vandalism

This article first appeared on American Lens News on August 16, 2017

A Durham statue of a Confederate Soldier was torn down by protesters attending a protest organized by a communist group, the World Workers Party.

One arrest, Takiyah Thompson of the Communist World Workers Party, was arrested for her role in the destruction of the statue.

Thompson is charged with two felonies and two misdemeanors. She was identified as the woman who scaled the ladder and placed a noose around the neck of the Durham statue.


To date, no media outlet other than American Lens has questioned the spontaneous appearance of a ladder and noose at the protest.

Cooper Doesn’t Mention Durham Statue as Vandalism; Doesn’t Name Radical Groups Involved

In a video statement, yesterday on Twitter, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper refused to condemn the vandalism of the Durham statue.

This statement echoes the Governor’s lack of condemnation in his first comment about the Durham statue which he posted to Twitter.

The Governor offered no condemnation of these illegal activities despite one of the vandals being arrested yesterday afternoon. President Trump had come under fire for similar vagueness in his first statement on the attack in Charlottesville.

Instead of calling out the groups involved, Governor expressed concern for the safety of protesters who might be trying to pull down statues such as the one in Durham.

Governor Cooper’s remarks then shifted into laying out his plan to remove all Confederate statues from public venues in the state. Cooper suggested they now belong in a museum.

A state law passed in 2015-16 session protects monuments and statues in the state. Specific criteria must be met for the removal of any given ‘object of remembrance’.

Without question, Cooper’s call to remove ‘all confederate statues’ from public grounds in North Carolina will pit him against the legislature yet again.

Currently, despite promising to “work across the aisle”, the Cooper administration has sued or filed motions against the legislature at least four times in the five months.

Cooper’s remarks are in stark contrast to Durham County Sheriff Michael D. Andrews, who said that “No one is getting away with this,” and “We can all agree yesterday went too far.”

Andrews also said that his officers are still looking for other accomplices and said search warrants were being executed.

The Durham Police were questioned about why they did not act and released a statement that said their officers “monitored the protests” to make sure they were done in a “safe manner and that no infractions occurred within city jurisdiction.”

The Durham Police passed the buck to the Durham Sheriff, claiming they did not intervene because of jurisdictional issues.

“The DPD is aware that a Confederate monument was toppled at the old Durham County courthouse. Because this incident occurred on county property,  where county law enforcement officials were staffed, no arrests were made by DPD officers,” the statement read.

The statement continued, “The Durham County Sheriff’s Office is the agency that has jurisdiction over all county buildings and landmarks. When monitoring such incidents the Sheriff’s Office is the decision-making agency regarding law enforcement response on matters concerning county property.”

Gubernatorial Revisionist History

Cooper also posted a similar statement on the website Medium. In both statements, Cooper asserted that the Civil War was not fought because of states rights and said that “history is not on their side” to those who believe that.

Cooper - State Rights - Civil War - Durham Monument via Medium

Excerpt from NC Gov. Roy Cooper’s article, “North Carolina Monuments” via Medium

Despite the governor clinging to his apparent belief, his constituents are historically illiterate, the fact remains states rights was indeed one of the reasons for the civil war. Was slavery a big part of it, sure.  So were competing economies and territorial expansion. But it was the states rights question, did states have the right to protect the use of slavery, that was the crux of the of the matter and sparked the war.

The South had a mainly agrarian economy but the North became more industrialized. As a result, a shift in social culture and political beliefs began. These shifts started arguments over things like taxes, tariffs, and slavery – and states rights versus federal rights.

This article has been updated to include the image

About A.P. Dillon

A.P. Dillon is a reporter currently writing at The North State Journal. She resides in the Triangle area of North Carolina. Find her on Twitter: @APDillon_ Tips:
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