Local News

More protests planned over Silent Sam toppling?

Three people arrested during protests over the Silent Sam statue made a brief first appearance in court Monday.

Posted Updated

Sarah Krueger
, WRAL reporter
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — At least 11 people have been charged with misdemeanors in connection with recent protests surrounding the Silent Sam Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Some of those suspects were in court Monday for first appearance hearings even as pro-Silent Sam supporters said the campus should expect more demonstrations until the Confederate-era monument is restored to its pedestal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The people who were arrested last weekend come from all over North Carolina, but university officials say none of the protesters are affiliated with UNC-Chapel Hill.

Most of those arrested are opposed to Silent Sam, a statue erected on campus to honor Confederate war heroes, but Barry Brown said he was there to support the monument.

Brown said he is a member of Alamance County Taking Back Alamance County, or ACTBAC, which calls itself a Southern heritage group.

The Southern Poverty Law Center characterizes it as a hate group. Sky 5 captured Brown punching another man in the face.

Brown spoke to us by phone and defended his decision to punch one of the anti-Silent Sam protesters.

"I'd follow up with a left, that's what I'd do," he said, saying it was a case of self defense.

Four others were in an Orange County courtroom today in connection with the protests Saturday.

  • John Quick has been charged with simple assault for blocking the way of a man carrying a Confederate flag. He said he is not affiliated with any group but said he was there to protest white supremacy.
  • Lillian Price, charged with damage to property for breaking a Confederate flag pole. Price left without comment after appearing in court.
  • Thomas Bruefach..charged with resisting arrest and inciting a public disturbance.
  • Kristin Emory, for resisting arrest.

All four had brief appearances on Monday in court, where they received their next court dates.

Raul Jimenez is also facing charges in connection with the Silent Sam statue.

Authorities have charged him with vandalism in connection with the incident on Aug. 20, when Silent Sam was toppled. He's the only defendant so far who was charged in connection with the toppling of Durham's Confederate statue.

But Jimenez was found not guilty in the Durham case.

Jimenez is affiliated with the group "Defend Durham," which is supported by the Communist group know as the "Workers World Party."

Jonathan Fitzgerald Fuller, 27, Lauren Aucoin, 23, and Raul Arce Jimenez, 27, were all charged with misdemeanor rioting and misdemeanor defacing a public monument. UNC police said the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are possible.

UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said campus leaders didn't anticipate the vandalism, and that the school would conduct a complete investigation. She called the actions of the protesters "unlawful and dangerous."

“Whatever anyone feels about the Confederate monument, what happened Monday night was destruction of state property,” she said.


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