7 arrested in clashes over Confederate statue at University of North Carolina

"Silent Sam," which had stood since 1913, was toppled earlier this week and now sits in storage.


Seven people were arrested Saturday in clashes over the fate of a Confederate statue that was toppled this week on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, school officials said.

The circa-1913 monument known as "Silent Sam," now in temporary storage, was decried by critics as a symbol of racist heritage. But a few demonstrators stood in favor of restoring the statue as a tribute to fallen ancestors.

Protesters scuffle with police during a rally in front of Graham Memorial Building on the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Aug.25, 2018. The rally featured those for and against the removal of the controversial "Silent Sam" statue which was toppled earlier this week.Chuck Liddy / The News & Observer via AP

Although no serious injuries were reported, seven people were arrested in the demonstrations.

Three were arrested on suspicion of assault; two others on suspicion of assault, destroying property and inciting a riot; one on suspicion of destroying property; and one for allegedly resisting an officer, UNC spokeswoman Carly Miller said in a statement.

In a message to the campus community, the university said none of the suspects were affiliated with the university. Administrators said the protest drew 100 people and that it was "highly charged."

North Carolina has become a focal point in the debate over Civil War-era memorials. UNC leaders, including the school's chancellor, Carol Folt, said state law had prevented the removal of the statue.