Protesters topple Silent Sam statue at UNC
CHAPEL HILL, NC (WNCN) - Several hundred people gathered on the University of North Carolina's campus Monday night to protest the "Silent Sam" statue.
Protesters knocked down the statue around 9:20 p.m. Monday.
Fall semester classes begin Tuesday at UNC.
Protestors were calling for the statue's immediate removal. One student vowed to wear a noose around his neck until it was taken down.
UNC police told CBS 17 that one person who attended the rally was arrested and charged with resisting arrest.
Before the statue was torn down, protesters marched down Franklin Street towards Carrboro following the rally at Silent Sam on campus.
Chapel Hill police had to shut down Franklin Street between Raleigh Street and Church Street.
Protesters then toppled the statue back on campus.
"Silent Sam" was set to be discussed for the first time in a state meeting on Wednesday.
UNC Board of Governors Chair Harry Smith said in a recent statement that the board "respects each of the varying opinions within the University community concerning this matter." However, he also noted that "neither UNC-Chapel Hill nor the UNC System have the legal authority to unilaterally relocate the Silent Sam statue."
UNC's media relations sent CBS 17 a statement at 10:28 p.m. It read:
"Around 9:20 p.m., a group from among an estimated crowd of 250 protesters brought down the Confederate Monument on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Tonight's actions were dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured. We are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage."
Gov. Roy Cooper tweeted that he "understands that many people are frustrated by the pace of change and he shares their frustration, but violent destruction of public property has no place in our communities."
Raleigh police has posted officers at the Confederate monuments at the North Carolina State Capitol as a reaction to what happened in Chapel Hill.
UNC System Chancellor Carol Folt also released a statement regarding the incident, saying:
As you are probably aware, a group from among an estimated crowd of 250 protesters brought down the Confederate Monument on our campus last night.
The monument has been divisive for years, and its presence has been a source of frustration for many people not only on our campus but throughout the community.
"However, last night's actions were unlawful and dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured. The police are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage.
"I appreciate the actions taken by the police to ensure the community's safety and will keep you informed as additional information is available."
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