UNC officials have said they believe it’s in the best interest of campus safety to remove Silent Sam, the Confederate statue that was the site of a massive protest Tuesday night.
But they also insist they don’t have the legal authority to take it down, despite Gov. Roy Cooper’s suggestion that an exception in a state law protecting monuments would allow it.
UNC asked Cooper to convene the state Historical Commission to consider the matter; Cooper told the university it could take the statue down itself.
The disagreement leaves the university at a legal impasse over what to do with Silent Sam. A statement from UNC on Tuesday asked for the public’s patience and cooperation “as we continue to seek clear guidance and legal authority to act.”