CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- The controversial "Silent Sam" statue at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill has been toppled by protesters Monday night. CBS affiliate WNCN-TV writes that it was knocked down at 9:20 p.m. Protesters wanted the statue's immediate removal, even prompting one student to wear a noose around his neck until it was taken down.
Fall semester classes begin Tuesday, the station adds.
There were some tense moments between police and protesters. One person was arrested and charged with concealing one's face during a public rally and resisting arrest.
Students, faculty and alumni have called the statue a racist image and asked officials to remove it, though some argued it was a tribute to fallen ancestors.
The university confirmed Monday's protest in a tweet saying, "Tonight's actions were dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured."
The statue was given to the university by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1909. It was erected in 1913.
A half-hour after it was pulled down, a crowd of dozens remained standing around the empty pedestal. The crowd chanted "Tar Heels!" and "Whose Campus? Our Campus!" Cars honked as they passed nearby on the college town's main drag.
WNCN-TV reports that the "Silent Sam" statue was set to be discussed for the first time in a meeting Wednesday at the state Capitol.
UNC Board of Governors Chair Harry Smith said in a recent statement that the board "respects each of the varying opinions within the University community concerning this matter." However, he also noted that "neither UNC-Chapel Hill nor the UNC System have the legal authority to unilaterally relocate the Silent Sam statue."
Gov. Roy Cooper had called for removing "Silent Sam" and other rebel symbols on public land.
Still the Democratic governor issued a statement on Twitter Monday night arguing the protesters took the wrong approach to removing the statue.
"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," said the tweet from his official account.
Word that the statue had fallen drew curious students out.
"I heard the statue had come down, so I had to see it myself," said freshman Manuel Ricardo, who arrived after the statue was on the ground.
The site of the empty pedestal "is pretty breathtaking," said Ricardo, who's African American. "I think most people here are happy. I'm ecstatic."
Shortly after 10 p.m., a dozen officers were surrounding the fallen statue, which was eventually covered with a tarp next to its empty pedestal.
Junior Ian Goodson said he came out after he heard the statue fell because he wanted to see history.
"It's a significant event for UNC," he said.
He said that while he doesn't agree with what the Confederacy stood for, he understands that some saw the statue as an important memorial.
Asked whether he's glad the statue came down, he said: "I was always kind of torn."
North Carolina, which ranks among the handful of Southern states with the most Confederate monuments, has been a focal point in the national debate over them following a deadly white nationalist protest a year ago in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Protests over the UNC statue erected in 1913 have flared in the past year, and another Confederate monument in nearby Durham was torn down shortly after the Virginia protest.
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