Governor Cooper just gave UNC permission to remove Silent Sam
UNC leaders are worried he poses a risk to public safety
According to The Daily Tar Heel, Governor Roy Cooper gave UNC permission to remove Silent Sam from campus in a letter to UNC-System President Margaret Spellings.
His letter comes in response to a letter from Spellings and other UNC officials – including Chancellor Carol Folt. It described the concerns of local law enforcement, including the concern Silent Sam may be torn down in protests similar to those in Durham and Charlottesville.
Cooper's letter gives permission for the statue to be torn down if leaders "believe there is a real risk to public safety."
He says the 2015 law which requires permission from the N.C. Historical Commission to remove, relocate or alter monuments, memorials, plaques and other markers that are on public property, still allows the University to take "immediate measures" in the interest of safety.
Responses from students, alumni, and Chapel Hill residents have been mixed. While some are excited to see the controversial confederate memorial removed, others believe Silent Sam is an important marker of Chapel Hill's history.