People questioning UNC Police's response to Silent Sam protest

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People questioning UNC Police's response to Silent Sam protest

Just days after Silent Sam was torn down by protesters at UNC-Chapel Hill, some are questioning the UNC Police response.

UNC System Board of Governors member Thom Goolsby posted a YouTube video , demanding answers. He spoke to ABC11 via phone, calling what happened at UNC Monday "anarchy."

"Our campus was not properly protected, it sure did not look so, by the police," Goolsby said. "How in the world, this statue, which we've spent about half a million dollars to protect, was allowed...why they moved the protection, the screening from around it, then allowed all of these individuals, to put up bamboo poles and shield themselves as they unscrewed the appliances that held the statue in place and then tore it down. It's absolutely outrageous."



Frank Powell, of the North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans, agrees. The group sent a letter to the UNC administration, asking that the statue be safely stored and protected and the memorial replaced.

"We are outraged that the police received a stand down order and stood there and watched," Powell said. "They should have stopped it."

UNC student Corry Dauderman said police did the right thing and helped keep students safe. He said the university's inaction on the divisive statue contributed to what happened.

"Destruction of public property is wrong," Dauderman said. "On the other hand, when you don't allow an avenue to rectify an injustice, you make it inevitable that there will be a violent reaction."

In a statement, the UNC administration said that at no point did they direct officers to allow the protesters to topple the monument.



In a news conference with media over the phone Thursday, UNC Chancellor Carol Folt wouldn't say whether police were given a "stand down" order. However, she did say police are well-trained and care deeply for the students.

"Every protest, as I said, more than 35 we've had since I've been here, has been handled responsibly, professionally, without injury or destruction of property until Monday," Chancellor Folt said. "I want to make sure that we remember that we didn't have injury in the protest on Monday."

Chancellor Folt said safety is extremely important and so is the rule of law.

Chancellor Folt didn't give details about the SBI investigation. She said a full investigation needs to be completed, but she did promise transparency. She said those responsible for bringing the statue down would be held accountable.
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