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Carolina Journal reports: UNC facing tough questions after fall of Silent Sam

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is facing tough inquiries about campus security and law enforcement after the illegal toppling of Silent Sam, a Confederate statue on the campus, following months of protest.

Carolina Journal’s Kari Travis reports

A striking question — about how a handful of people tore down a weighty statue under watch of city and university police — so far has reaped cryptic answers.

On Monday, Aug. 20, around 9:20 p.m., a group of roughly 250 people cheered as Silent Sam fell from his pedestal. Installed in 1913, Sam has for decades been subject to controversy, drawing both scorn and support.

Protesters who dethroned the statue likely used torches to cut the bolts that secured Silent Sam to his base, sources familiar with the situation told Carolina Journal.

Barricades formerly placed around the monument were ordered by top university officials to be taken down ahead of the protests, sources also revealed.

A video published by Blacklisted News on Aug. 23 shows campus police filing away from Silent Sam just before the crowd toppled it with ropes.

Carolina Journal reached out to representatives from the university and the N.C. Historical Commission to ask for details on the dismantling of the Silent Sam monument.

A striking question — about how a handful of people tore down a weighty statue under watch of city and university police — so far has reaped cryptic answers.

On Monday, Aug. 20, around 9:20 p.m., a group of roughly 250 people cheered as Silent Sam fell from his pedestal. Installed in 1913, Sam has for decades been subject to controversy, drawing both scorn and support.

Protesters who dethroned the statue likely used torches to cut the bolts that secured Silent Sam to his base, sources familiar with the situation told Carolina Journal.

Barricades formerly placed around the monument were ordered by top university officials to be taken down ahead of the protests, sources also revealed.

A video published by Blacklisted News on Aug. 23 shows campus police filing away from Silent Sam just before the crowd toppled it with ropes.

Smith said consequences are inevitable for those that committed the crimes.

“The law is the law,” Smith said. “We can’t allow anarchy on any of our campuses.”

UNC’s governing body will support UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt and will work with the school’s Board of Trustees to handle the issues “in full transparency,” Smith said.

UNC board member, Marty Kotis, said if the university leaders don’t set boundaries and rules, lawless behavior will escalate.

“It’s like a toddler. If you don’t set the rules, the toddler will run amok.”

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