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200 counterprotesters brace for possible KKK march in Durham; sheriff closes Main Street

Durham sheriff vows to make arrests in Confederate statue tear down

Durham Sheriff Michael D. Andrews says people who pulled down a Confederate statue Monday have been identified and will be arrested on felony charges
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Durham Sheriff Michael D. Andrews says people who pulled down a Confederate statue Monday have been identified and will be arrested on felony charges

About 200 counter protesters have gathered on East Main Street in downtown Durham, bracing for a march by white supremacist groups at noon.

They were shouting “No KKK. No Fascists USA.”

The Sheriff’s Office has closed East Main Street in front of the old courthouse. Many downtown businesses are closing, county and other offices have closed.

In a statement released at 12:08 p.m. Sheriff Mike Andrews said there is no confirmation of a white supremacist march.

“At this time, law enforcement continues to monitor the area and have not confirmed reports of activity,” he said. “We are urging the public to avoid circulating rumors on social media and instead wait for verified information from officials monitoring the situation.”

Durham attorney T. Greg Doucette was at the Durham County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m. when he said deputies informed the judge that the courthouse was closing.

“The judge pulled us aside and recalendared our case for another day,” Doucette said.

He then left the courthouse after speaking with Durham assistant district attorney Clayton Jones.

The leader of a North Carolina based group associated with the Ku Klux Klan left this voice mail saying he is glad that a woman died while taking part in a protest in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. Heather Heyer was killed when James Alle

City Manager Tom Bonfield said he was unaware of any permit being obtained for a march.

Mayor Bill Bell said he was heading to City Hall to get more information.

Scratch Baker Manager Thurmond Buckelew said they made the decision to close because of “growing anxieties.” A representative of the nearby Suntrust Bank came in to the restaurant and said the bank also would be closing early, he said.

“We just wanted to be home and not be in the middle of it,” Buckelew said.

Suntrust Bank officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Eight people have been charged in Durham this week after a Monday protest tore down a Confederate statue in downtown Durham. The protest was a response to last weekend’s violence at a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Protesters celebrate after pulling down a Confederate statue in Durham, N.C. Monday afternoon Aug. 14, 2017.

This is a developing story. Come back for updates.

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