Texts Show Chapel Hill Police Told To Stand Down On Silent Sam Protest

Once again, regardless of your opinion of the Silent Sam statue, its connotations, its creator, and so forth, it is against the law to damage and destroy state property. What happened was a criminal violation, and the police just stood down. And give very left leaning WRAL kudos for publishing this article, though they do attempt to soft peddle it a bit. A few other local news sites published, as well

Texts show police chief told Chapel Hill officers to stay back amid ‘Silent Sam’ protest

Police Chief Chris Blue instructed Chapel Hill officers to stand aside last week as protesters pulled down a controversial Confederate monument on the University of North Carolina campus, a review of Blue’s text messages and emails shows.

Following a public records request, WRAL News obtained about 400 pages of emails and texts sent to and from Blue on Aug. 20-21 – before, during and after the protest that led to the toppling of the “Silent Sam” statue.

Blue’s texts show he was closely monitoring what unfolded at McCorkle Place on campus on Aug. 20 and was relaying directions to his officers. It remains unclear who sent some texts to Blue and received his messages in return.

Just to be clear, Blue is the police chief for the city of Chapel Hill, as opposed to the campus police for UNC Chapel Hill, where the statue was located.

When someone lets him know officers on bicycles are already doing that, he replies, “Ok. Monitor the masked folks. Keep our folks off McCorkle place for now.”

“Need to make sure our plainclothes guys are really looking out for counter protesters to arrive,” Blue texts at 7:35 p.m. “This thing is all over tv and internet. The longer they take with the statue the more time Folks have to arrive.”

“We connected with them. They are going to keep us posted,” someone replies.

That sure makes it look like the Chapel Hill PD were more concerned about any counter protesters showing up while at the same time backing the protesters.

At 9 p.m., Blue texts, “Let’s give them lots of space.” That was followed by, “Yes but do not engage w Crowd at statue. Stay way out.”

When he tells his officers that UNC officers also are backing away from “Silent Sam,” someone texts him, “Copy our folks did as well.”

“Wral shows CHPD guys too close. Back up,” Blue replies.

“Silent Sam” came down shortly after those texts went out.

Stand down. Let people commit crimes. Blue received many email, which were released in the doc drop, including

“Any police force who will stand by, watch a crime committed, and do nothing about it, have failed in their sworn duties to the people,” William Richardson wrote.

“When do you get to decide what laws you will enforce? If this is what you call law enforcement it is time for you to retire,” a man named “Danny” emailed.

But, Blue was Very Concerned with something else (picture of officer in the article near bottom)

Some emails to Blue noted that one Chapel Hill officer at the scene of the protest had a tattoo on his arm for the Three Percenters, a militia group that pledges armed resistance to any effort to curtail constitutional rights.

The officer, identified as Cole Daniels, “expressed regret that his tattoo has been associated with groups that perpetuate hatred and violence,” Blue said in an email sent Wednesday to WRAL News by Chapel Hill spokeswoman Catherine Lazorko.

“We understand the concerns regarding the negative interpretations of the tattoo and regret it was displayed. This will not occur again,” Blue said. “We also want to emphasize that the negative interpretation of that tattoo is inconsistent with the values and mission of our department. We expect employees to abide by our values in the performance of their duties for the Town.”

I’m thinking the Founders would have approved of armed resistance to efforts to curtail constitutional rights.

Anyhow, this being ultra loopy lefty Chapel Hill, absolutely nothing will come of this, as you can bet the city will support Blue in telling his officers to stand down while destruction of state property was committed. UNC Board of Governors member Thom Goolsby has been critical of the police response on Aug. 20, saying the officers were “highly derelict” in their duty “by standing back and allowing these outside criminal elements to riot and destroy state property.” But, nothing will happen. And, most likely, any of the protesters later charged will have those charges dismissed.

The police did move in after the statue was brought down and defaced.

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