The three individuals each face misdemeanor charges for rioting and defacing a public monument filed by the UNC-Chapel Hill Police Department. Their identities have not yet been made public, but police said they are not associated with the university.
Though only three people were charged Friday, around 250 student protesters stormed the statue Monday night and toppled it using rope and their bare hands, in the name of ending “institutional white supremacy.”
Erected in 1913 to honor “the sons of the University who died for their beloved Southland 1861-1865,” according to the school, the Silent Sam monument has long been a target for protesters on campus and cost the university nearly $400,000 to protect over the past year.
The toppling is the latest in a wave of backlash against monuments to those who fought to preserve slavery during the Civil War, largely in response to the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last August.
While some municipalities in the last year have elected to remove such monuments, UNC plans to reinstall the Silent Sam monument within 90 days in accordance with state law, university board of governors member Thom Goolsby announced. The university also spoke out against the toppling, calling the action “unacceptable, dangerous, and incomprehensible.”
University and law enforcement officials did not immediately respond to HuffPost requests for comment.