After one defendant was acquitted Monday, all files are being dropped against the remaining protesters who toppled a Confederate monument in Durham last year, according to a Tuesday announcement made by a North Carolina district attorney.
From The Hill: Durham County District Attorney Roger Echols said he will drop charges against the five remaining protesters. The protesters were charged with injury to real property, defacing a public building or monument and conspiracy to deface a public building or monument, The Herald-Sun reports.
Echols’s decision follows a judge acquitting one defendant of similar charges Monday while dismissing charges against two others.
“For my office to continue to take these cases to trial based on the same evidence would be a misuse of state resources,” Echols told reporters. But he warned that violence, even with “noble” intent, would be punished.
“Acts of vandalism, regardless of noble intent, are still a violation of law,” he said.
The incident in question was captured on video last year. Dozens of protesters toppled a Confederate statue while chanting “No KKK! No fascist USA!”
Echols charged 12 people with felony and misdemeanor charges initially, all charges related to the destruction of the statue.
From the report: One protester, Loan Tran, accepted deferred prosecution on three misdemeanors in December and promised to pay $1,250 in restitution and perform 100 hours of community service.
Tran told news reporters at the time of the incident that other Confederate statues around the country needed to be removed following violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last year.
See the video of the protesters pulling the statue down HERE.