More Communists have had the charges either dropped or dismissed in the case of the destruction of a Durham Confederate statue.
Members of the Communist World Workers Party all seem to be getting a pass so far after their group orchestrated the destruction of the Durham statue.
Yesterday District Court Judge Frederick S. Battaglia Jr. found one defendant not guilty, the judge then dismissed charges against two others.
Today, Durham DA Roger Echols dropped the charges against the remaining protesters including Takiyah Thompson, the communist who climbed the statue, put a noose around its neck to yank it down with. She was the first to be arrested.
“I do believe the evidence supported the misdemeanor charges, and we proceeded on those charges,” Echols said. “Acts of vandalism, regardless of noble intent, are still violations of law.”
Charges were also dropped for Elena Everett, 36; Jessica Nicole Jude; Qasima Wideman; and Joseph Karlik.
At a rally prior to the hearings, Communist World Workers Party’s apparent spokesperson, Loan Tran, addressed supporters outside the courthouse.
Via Sarah Willets on twitter quoted Tran. “They are putting our entire movement on trial so they will feel the wrath and power of our entire movement.”
Judge Lets Communists Off The Hook
Raul Mauro Jimenez was not guilty of injury to real property, defacing a public building or monument, and conspiracy to deface a public building or monument.
Peter Gilbert and Dante Strobino, charged with the same misdemeanors as Jiminez, had their cases dismissed entirely.
- Related: Felony Charges Dropped for 8 in Durham Statue Case
- Related: Charges Dropped for Some Arrested at 2017 Durham Demonstration
The presiding judge was District Court Judge Fred Battaglia and he made it plain that he did not believe the prosecution had proved that the defendants actually destroyed the statue.
“The court finds the state has failed to identify who the perpetrator was,” said Battaglia regarding the Strobino case.
Assistant District Attorney Ameshia Cooper argued that the act was premeditated.
“Your honor, you will learn that this was not a spontaneous event but a well-orchestrated plan,” said Cooper in her opening statements.
The judge rejected Cooper’s premise, even after being shown video evidence and hearing from multiple law enforcement witnesses. Judge Battaglia was also able to ignore the fact the group brought a ladder and rope with them. Battaglia stated that “…the court has noted there is no evidence of a conspiracy.”
The next hearing for the remaining defendants will be April 2nd. Those with charges still pending are Takiyah Thompson, Elena Everett, Jessica Nicole Jude, and Joseph Karlik, and Qasima Wideman.
Thompson is very clearly seen in all video accounts floating around as the woman who climbed a ladder and wrapped the rope around the statue’s neck.
Once down, defendant Daniel Strobino is seen kicking the statue in the head while defendant Loan Tran addresses the mob on a bullhorn.
Qasima Wideman is a well known NC Social Justice Warrior and, who, at a Black Lives Matter event in Durham in 2016, lead chants aimed at the Durham Police headquarters of “You are terrorists.”
Defense: It’s Ok to Destroy Public Property That Offends
The attorney for the defense, Scott Holmes, argued that the monument infringed on others’ rights because it was offensive to some people as a symbol of slavery.
“The object is a symbol of the traitorous revolt of the Southern states to violently defend human slavery,” said Holmes in his opening remarks.
Holmes went even further, making the incredible suggestion that the monument to dead soldiers violated state law.
“The monument also violated state law that prohibits the use of a public building in teaching the violent overthrow of the government,” said Holmes.
World Workers Party Celebrates Their Comrades
The Communist World Workers Party celebrated their comrades having their charges dropped and promoting the themes that those who aided in destroying public property were innocent because “fighting racism is not a crime.” World Workers Party also characterized those arrested as “anti-racist heroes.”
After the hearings, the Communists and their supporters marched in the streets of Durham chanting, “Cops and the Klan go Hand in Hand!”
The World Workers Party tweeted out dozens of video clips, one of which said that “One day we’ll tear down bigger things than statues!”
For weeks leading up to this week’s set of hearings, far Left and Communist groups led a campaign to pressure the Durham Mayor, Durham Commissioners, as well as the District Attorney on the case.
“Do It Like Durham” released a statement prior to the hearing that highlighted this campaign of pressuring officials to “Drop the Charges!” and that “Toppling Racism is not a Crime!”
“Do It Like Durham” has promoted the idea that activists should engage in vandalism and destruction of public property nationwide.
The radicals involved in destroying the statue are also beginning to make it clear they want the Durham Sheriff gone – “by any means necessary.”
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So I can go to Durham, find some structure that is offensive to me and tear it down? Or at the least deface it?