The Confederate monument in downtown Durham, pictured on Aug. 28, is comprised now only of a marble base after protesters pulled down the soldier statue on Aug. 14, 2017. Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan dvaughan@heraldsun.com
The Confederate monument in downtown Durham, pictured on Aug. 28, is comprised now only of a marble base after protesters pulled down the soldier statue on Aug. 14, 2017. Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan dvaughan@heraldsun.com

Durham County

Durham Confederate statue’s crumpled remains unmoved. For now.

By Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan

dvaughan@heraldsun.com

August 29, 2017 06:00 AM

UPDATED September 18, 2017 06:51 PM

DURHAM

The Confederate statue in downtown Durham pulled down two weeks ago by protesters will continue to lie dormant in a county warehouse for now.

Durham County commissioners on Monday night were expected to hear advice from the county attorney about their next steps on the toppled Confederate statue, but came out of a closed session and simply adjourned.

Discussions in closed sessions are not open to the public, but any official action must be taken during the regular session. Instead, the commissioners returned after a two and a half hour closed session Monday night and simply adjourned.

Chairwoman Wendy Jacobs said they could not comment on the closed session.

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Durham received national attention when the Confederate soldier statue dedicated in 1924 in front of the then courthouse, was toppled on Aug. 14 in the wake of the violent white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The marble base remains out front of what is now the county administration building, dedicated to “the boys who wore the gray.” Confederate soldiers wore gray uniforms during the Civil War. Commissioners meet in that building.

On Aug. 17, Commissioner Heidi Carter said, in a public Facebook post, that she had received more than 2,000 emails from people in Durham and across the United States.

“This situation is very charged, coming on the heels of the aggressive gathering of white supremacists and the tragic killing of an innocent woman in Charlottesville. It is made all the more difficult by the N.C. legislature's law against the removal of state monuments to the Confederacy, which makes legal avenues for redress feel elusive ... Racism is a deeply entrenched feature of American society, and we must combat it at every level,” she wrote.

A 2015 state law makes it difficult for municipalities to remove monuments.

Jacobs said Monday night that commissioners will continue to work with staff.

Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: 919-419-6563, @dawnbvaughan