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Saturday May 28th

Durham DA drops charges against Confederate statue protesters

<p>Protesters from Defend Durham, a local activist organization, demonstrated outside the county courthouse as protesters awaited their verdicts Dec. 5. The demonstration included speeches, as well as a sketching station for people to facilitate replacement statue ideas. &nbsp;</p>
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Protesters from Defend Durham, a local activist organization, demonstrated outside the county courthouse as protesters awaited their verdicts Dec. 5. The demonstration included speeches, as well as a sketching station for people to facilitate replacement statue ideas.  

Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols announced Tuesday he is dropping charges against the five remaining people accused of destroying a Confederate statue in Durham over the summer. 

A district court judge acquitted one defendant, Raul Mauro Jimenez, and dismissed charges against Peter Gilbert and Dante Strobino Monday, according to The Herald-Sun.

The judge in the trial said prosecutors did not prove the defendants were guilty of injury to real property, defacing a public building or monument and conspiracy to deface a public building or monument.

According to The Herald-Sun, Echol said prosecutors presented all of the admissible evidence available, and his office planned to use the same evidence, so it did not make sense to prosecute the case.  

The remaining defendants —  Takiyah Thompson, Elena Everett, Jessica Nicole Jude, Qasima Wideman and Joseph Karlik — were expected to go to trial April 2. 

In a Facebook statement about the dropped charges, Defend Durham, a local antiracist movement, said, "Fighting white supremacy is not a crime! People power beats the state!"

On Jan. 11, Echols dropped all felony charges against the eight protesters connected to the Confederate statue toppling.

In the Facebook post, Defend Durham said the protesters would release a statement soon. 

This is a continuing story. Check back here for more information as the story develops.

@DTHStatNat

state@dailytarheel.com

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