Judge orders UNC system to turn over Silent Sam Confederate statue

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Thursday, November 28, 2019
Court rules Silent Sam statue can go to SCV
Court rules Silent Sam statue can go to SCV

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- The University of North Carolina System announced Wednesday afternoon that an agreement has been reached for the disposition of the Silent Sam statue that once stood for decades on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill.

Under the terms of a consent judgment entered by a judge Wednesday morning in a lawsuit brought by the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. (SCV), the Confederate statue will be turned over to the SCV.

"The safety and security concerns expressed by students, faculty and staff are genuine, and we believe this consent judgment not only addresses those concerns but does what is best for the university, and the university community in full compliance with North Carolina law," said Jim Holmes, member of the UNC Board of Governors.

Full coverage of the Silent Sam issue

The court-approved resolution of the case means:

  • SCV owns all rights, title, and interests in the monument;
  • UNC will turn over possession of the monument to SCV;
  • SCV will forever maintain possession of the monument outside any of the fourteen counties currently containing a UNC System constituent institution;

  • Using non-state funds, the University will fund a charitable trust to be held independently by a non-party trustee in the amount of $2,500,000, the proceeds of which may only be used for certain limited expenses related to the care and preservation of the monument, including potentially a facility to house and display the monument; and
  • This resolution complies with existing North Carolina law, including the monuments law as provided in Chapter 100 of the North Carolina General Statutes.

"We have been involved in ongoing negotiations and collaboration to achieve this outcome and we believe it is a fair result," said R. Kevin Stone, Commander of the NCSCV in a statement.

The SCV sued the University of North Carolina System and the Board of Governors concerning the disposition of the monument.

"This resolution allows the University to move forward and focus on its core mission of educating students," UNC Board of Governors Chair Randy Ramsey said.

On Aug. 20, 2018, student protesters toppled Silent Sam, knocking the statue to the ground, kicking it and tossing dirt on top of it.

Watch: Silent Sam statue comes crashing down. Courtesy of our newsgathering partners the News and Observer.

The Confederate statue was built in 1913 and dedicated to the UNC students and faculty who left school to fight in the Civil War for the Confederacy.