A statue dedicated to the memory of Confederate soldiers 105 years ago came crashing to the ground at the University of North Carolina on Monday night. "Silent Sam," a statue of a Confederate soldier donated to the university by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and erected in 1913, was brought down by some of the protesters who had marched against the statue earlier in the evening, WTVD reports. A group of protesters cheered and threw dirt on the statue after others brought it down using a rope. Police officers, who made at least one arrest, then moved in to form a human shield around the toppled statue.
Students and faculty at the Chapel Hill campus had called the statue a monument to a racist past and called for its removal, the AP reports. Reactions ranged from joy to anger, with the university calling the protesters' actions "dangerous," the News and Observer reports. "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," Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. (Another Confederate statue was toppled by a crowd in Durham last year.)