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The Daily Tar Heel

Silent Sam painted red, protester arrested


UNC doctoral student Maya Little was arrested by UNC Police for painting the Confederate monument Silent Sam red on Monday afternoon.

Updated at 7:39 p.m. on May 1: Little has been charged with defacement of a public monument and will have her first court date on Monday, May 7.

Silent Sam was painted red with paint and blood around 2:30 p.m. Monday.

The person has been identified as Maya Little, a UNC doctoral student, on Twitter. Little was arrested by UNC Police following the incident.

Around 2:45 p.m. a crowd formed around the Confederate monument on Polk Place. The crowd started chanting, "Hey hey, ho ho, this racist statue has got to go."

Video credit: Sarah Lundgren 

These protesters were pushed away from the statue by UNC Police and Chapel Hill Police officers as UNC groundskeepers power-washed the paint from the statue. 

Video credit: Maddy Arrowood 

Dex Brekfast, a friend of Little, said that Little cut her hand and bloodied Silent Sam before pouring red paint over it.

"I think the University needs to see how this statue and white supremacy has impacted their students, to the point where they have physically hurt themselves," Brekfast said. "That should be the highlight of what happened here."

A prepared statement from Little was provided to the DTH by UNC Ph.D. student Samee Siddiqui. 

A prepared statement from Maya Little was sent to the State & National desk after the doctoral candidate painted Silent Sam red. 

Jen Standish, a UNC Ph.D. student, said Little will be bailed out of jail by the Durham Solidarity Center if bail is posted. Little is still being processed at the Orange County Magistrate's Office in Hillsborough.

UNC Media Relations Manager Randy Young said that UNC Police arrested the individual responsible for the painting of the statue and that they will be charged with vandalism.

The Workers Union at UNC published a statement at 4:32 p.m. on Monday in support of Little. The statement said that while the Workers Union cannot endorse the act of nonviolent protest carried out by Little, they do condemn any legal or academic repercussions placed on Little by the University or by law enforcement. 

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"In addition," the statement continues, "we demand that the university administration not task its maintenance, housekeepers, facilities, or any other campus employees to clean up the statue: the responsibility of the statue lies with Chancellor Folt."

State & National Desk Editor Ana Irizarry contributed reporting to this article.

This is a developing story and will be updated as we get more information.