Man arrested after fight breaks out during Confederate flag protest

Published: Jun. 30, 2015 at 1:19 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2015 at 1:25 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A man was arrested Monday after a fight broke out near the Confederate Memorial at the State House.

Video obtained by WIS shows a man getting out of his vehicle and approaching the group of "Take It Down" protesters when words were exchanged and a fight broke out.

The South Carolina Department of Public Safety Bureau of Protective Services reported that about 30 protesters, who oppose the Confederate Flag, were on State House grounds when a group of about 15 vehicles with pro-flag supporters pulled up on Gervais Street in front of the State House and stopped in the middle of the street.

The group of vehicles were headed toward Sumter Street. About eight to 10 occupants exited their vehicles and began to engage in an altercation with the crowd, the Bureau of Protective Services reported.

Nicholas Thompson, 25, of Irmo was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after confronting a crowd of anti-Confederate flag protesters, the Bureau of Protective Services reported. Thompson was released on a $262 bond.

"Take It Down" protestor Loretta Torres, who captured the fight on video, said people had been provoking them all evening.

"It felt like they were taunting us and the people on the take it down side reacted to that," Torres said.

BPS has assigned more officers to the State House grounds.

The push to remove the flag, a Civil War era symbol of the secessionist, pro-slavery rebel South, follows the shooting deaths of nine people at a historic black church in Charleston on June 17.

The pastor, state Sen. Clementa Pinckney, was among the dead.

The suspect in the shooting, Dylann Storm Roof, was shown in photographs with the Confederate flag.

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