DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — A heart appeared overnight on top of the remains of a toppled Confederate statue outside the old Durham County courthouse in downtown Durham.
It’s not clear at this time who made the heart, who placed it there or what time it was installed.
CBS North Carolina has reached out to Durham officials to get more information on the heart.
A surveillance camera nearby is pointing directly at the statue.
The Confederate statue came down around 7:10 p.m. on Aug. 14 when a woman using a ladder climbed the statue of a Confederate soldier and attached a rope around the statue.
Moments later, the crowd pulled on the rope and the statue fell. One man quickly ran up and spat on the statue and several others began kicking it.
Durham police later said they monitored the protests to make sure they were “safe,” but did not interfere with the statue toppling because it happened on county property.
Soon after the statue was brought down, the Durham County Sheriff’s Office announced that they would pursue charges against those who took part in the destruction of the statue.
A total of eight people now face charges in connection with the toppling of the statue: Takiyah Thompson, 22, Dante Emmanuel Strobino, 35, Ngoc Loan Tran, 24, Peter Gilbert, 39, Raul Jimenez, 26, Aaron Caldwell, 24, and Elena Everett, 37, all of Durham, and Taylor Cook, 24, have all been arrested and charged in connection with the incident. All bonded out of jail almost immediately after they were arrested and processed.
Another nearby Confederate statue that has caused controversy is the “Silent Sam” statue on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters showed up on campus to protest the Silent Sam statue. Protesters called for the statue to be taken down. Gov. Roy Cooper said that the university had permission to remove the statue, but the university said they don’t have the ability to remove it.
UNC released the following statement about the removal of the monument:
Despite how it is being interpreted in the media, the University has not been given the clear legal authority to act unilaterally. Governor Cooper cites a provision where removal would be permitted if a “building inspector” concludes that physical disrepair of a statue threatens public safety, a situation not present here. The University is now caught between conflicting legal interpretations of the statute from the Governor and other legal experts.
Based on law enforcement agencies’ assessments, we continue to believe that removing the Confederate Monument is in the best interest of the safety of our campus, but the university can act only in accordance with the laws of the state of North Carolina. As we continue to seek clear guidance and legal authority to act, we ask for your patience and cooperation to help us maintain as safe an environment as we possibly can. Your safety and the safety of our community will always be our first priority.
Three people were arrested at the Silent Sam protest. Some protesters remained overnight and are taking shifts to protest the statue’s placement on campus.