Protesters in Morganton clash over Confederate monument

MORGANTON, N.C. — There were tense moments in Morganton Saturday when about 200 people stood guard by the Confederate monument at the courthouse and yelled at Black Lives Matter supporters.

People on both sides were armed with guns.

Our partners at the Morganton News Herald said there were rumors that people were going to tear down the statue.

The Herald streamed the entire confrontation live on Facebook. Supporters can be seen waving Confederate flags.

Police separated them from the Black Lives Matter group. They didn’t arrest anyone Saturday.

“Unfortunately, law enforcement and more specifically Public Safety is stuck in the middle of something right now and we’re going to have to see it through,” said Maj. Ryan Lander of the Morganton Department of Public Safety.

A man who stood to protect the city’s Confederate statue said it wasn’t supposed to be like that. He said all he wanted to see the statue removed legally rather than be torn down.

“I came out here as a local business owner to help protect the county from what’s going on around the country,” he said. “I believe that these statues should be diplomatically taken down. Diplomatically, not yanked down, not spray painted, not torn down.”

Holly Dale said she and her friend came to counter-protest, but said there were no plans to take the statue down.

“Nobody is worried about the statue,” Dale said. “The statue is just a representation of history and that’s what we’re trying to avoid, police brutality is such an issue, and it may not be as big of an issue in Morganton as it is across the world but it’s still a problem.”

Hundreds of thousands have already watched these videos online.

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