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2 arrested after protest against Confederate statues at State Capitol, police say

Should Confederate monuments stay or go?

Confederate monuments on state property are something NC residents feel passionately about -- on both sides of the issue. They voice their opinions on the Capitol grounds in Raleigh, where several monuments stand
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Confederate monuments on state property are something NC residents feel passionately about -- on both sides of the issue. They voice their opinions on the Capitol grounds in Raleigh, where several monuments stand

Two Raleigh men were arrested after the State Capitol Police say they put “white KKK style hoods” on a Confederate statue.

Jody Michael Anderson, 22, and Enzo Moretti Niebuhr, 18, were charged with disorderly conduct by abusive language and defacing a public building or statue, court records show. They were arrested Sunday.

Police say Anderson and Niebuhr shouted phrases that included expletives and said, “Racist statues have to go!” during a protest in downtown Raleigh on Sunday.

They are also accused of climbing on the State Capitol grounds’ Monument to North Carolina Women of the Confederacy and putting hoods on it, according to arrest warrants.

Protesters had gathered near the Women of the Confederacy statue to demonstrate against monuments at the State Capitol, according to an emailed statement from Smash Racism Raleigh.

“Activists allegedly climbed the monument and placed Klan hoods over its two heads to properly contextualize the statue’s role in perpetuating white supremacy and reinforcing both Jim Crow era and modern racist violence and oppression,” Smash Racism Raleigh said in its statement.

The 7-foot-tall statue was erected in 1914, according to The American Legion, part of a wave of Confederate monuments erected during the Jim Crow era that included the statue known as Silent Sam on the UNC campus (1913) and the Confederate soldier’s statue outside the old Durham County courthouse (1924), both now toppled by protesters.

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Black plastic and police tape cover the vandalism to the Women of the Confederacy monument on the State Capital grounds on Tuesday morning July 21, 2015 in Raleigh, NC. The vandalism was discovered overnight and was covered by daybreak. The statue is located along the Dawson Street side of the Capital. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

According to The American Legion website: “The bronze sculpture depicts an older woman, a grandmotherly figure, holding a book as she sits next to a young boy holding a sword. ... The woman, representing the women in the South as the custodians of history, imparts the history of the Civil War to the boy.”

In another incident, a man was arrested in March after police say he placed hoods on the same statue, The News & Observer previously reported. The statue in 2015 was vandalized with the phrase “Black Lives Matter,” police said.

Anderson and Niebuhr posted bond and were released Sunday, court records show.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking stories for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.


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