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Protesters topple UNC’s “Silent Sam” in evening demonstration

Protesters toppled the Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam” on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Monday night.

At a demonstration that began just after 7:30 p.m., several hundred protesters marched to the statue, which has been the focus of intense controversy over the last year.

The toppling of the monument, the only Confederate statue on any of UNC’s campuses, comes after the UNC Board of Governors last month declined to even discuss petitioning the North Carolina Historical Commission to remove it.

The commission meets Wednesday morning to discuss whether to remove three other Confederate monuments from downtown Raleigh.

Ford Porter, press secretary for Gov. Roy Cooper, released the following statement late Monday:

“Governor Cooper has been in contact with local law enforcement and UNC officials regarding tonight’s rally and appreciates their efforts to keep people safe. The Governor 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.”

UNC also released a statement Monday night.

“Tonight’s actions were dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured,” the statement said. “We are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage.”

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