North Carolina University Student Found Guilty Of Destroying Confederate Statue But Given No Punishment

I have been critical of the handling of cases where protesters destroy statutes that they find offensive.  When various protesters in North Carolina who torn down a statue in public and then celebrated their criminal acts in broad daylight. Because the statue of a civil war memorial, the act of property destruction was condoned by many and Durham District Attorney Roger Echols caved to the pressure in dropping all charges against everyone.  It was effective immunity for a popular criminal act — a dangerous concept in any legal system.  Not surprisingly, others soon claimed the right to unilaterally destroy property, including protesters on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s campus who took it upon themselves to destroy the controversial Silent Sam Confederate statue. 

I was critical of not only the failure to stop the destruction of the statue despite police at the scene but the decision not to charge above the misdemeanor level. Maya Little, a 26-year-old doctoral student of history, mixed with her own blood with red ink on the statue and was equally unapologetic before the court in declaring “The Orange County court system must also reckon with the Black blood that stains it.”

Now Orange County District Judge Samantha Cabe has found Little guilty but the declined to impose any penalties. Cabe seemed to yield to the argument of Little that she was triggered by the statue or, as her counsel argued, “One person’s defacement is another person’s improvement.”

Cabe backed away from any punishment despite the premeditation of the act and lack of remorse.  Cabe effectively left some public art without the real protection of the law in granting  “continued judgment” — sparing Little for even paying court costs or a technical criminal violation.

The concern is that, once again, there may be no penalty (and thus no deterrent) for those planning and then destroying public art due to public support or sympathy with their acts.

109 thoughts on “North Carolina University Student Found Guilty Of Destroying Confederate Statue But Given No Punishment”

  1. Chairman Harry Smith said that the statue did not appear to be seriously damaged.
    — News Observer, 2018 Aug 22–24

    1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – is Chairman Harry Smith an art conservator? An art restoration expert?

      1. I deeply doubt that such expertise is required for such a sturdy bronze casting.

        And I do recall much of my sophomore year course on properties of materials., hmm?

        1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – do you remember any of your art restoration course?

          1. Never took one.

            But metal work I have some understanding of.

            In particular, from the pictures of the downed statue, the head was still attached to the torso and not obviously bent back. I can’t tell about the front of the hat brim. However, the perpetrators did wrap the statue in a blanket before pulling it off the pedestal so even that may be unbent.

            In any case, minor bronze bending is not overly difficult.

            1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – the problem will be replacing it on the pedestal and matching the patina. That requires two experts, plus equipment.

                1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – watch Fred Wiseman’s National Gallery and you will see the delicate care that restoration takes.

        2. To be completely clear, if the head is bent back at the neck that would be difficult to restore; beyond my ken.

          Also to be clear, a sense of fairness is that the perpetrators ought to pay for the restoration work.

          1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. We can agree that they pay for the restoration. However, given what they are paying in student loans, they will be dead before the debt is paid off.

            1. They could take a semester off and get a job. They will be better students when they return. It might not be a bad idea for a lot of students to get a job before going to college. A lot of businesses are looking for workers under the economy of Trump.

  2. I am a Tarheel, twice.
    Although born in Oregon, I have two-and-a-half degrees from Chapel Hill.
    I am astonished by the flaccid response of the Chapel Hill police. Vandalism is vandalism. The perpetrators should be charged. The chief should be fired.
    What’s next? I will tell you: it is the very identity of UNC… the term “Tarheel.” That is what the whiners will go after next. Why? Because that was how Lee described the North Carolina regiments’ tenacity in early Civil War battles. They did not retreat, despite their losses, hence Lee’s description of them as “Tarheel boys.” Their tar feet would not allow them to step backward. They were heroic. They deserve to be remembered as heroes, because they fought like tigers. But that term “Tarheel” will be the next target of the idiots. Because that is what Lee said of them.
    As an Oregonian, I have few sympathies with the politics of the eastern United Sates. I could care less. You all are fools. I feel sorry for you idiots.
    But as an Oregon Tarheel, I respect the valor of the North Carolina regiments in the so-called Civil War.
    I am a man. I respect what men do when they are under fire. I respect the symbolism of Silent Sam.
    I am a man. I respect Silent Sam’s courage.
    I want those idiots charged and fined.

    1. profbob,
      Great comment! I totally concur……..also, my maternal ancestors helped settle New Bern in 1710, so I really appreciate the history lesson re: tarheel. I never knew that.

        1. profbob…….Thank you……I have never thought about the possible origin of the word. I’m gonna stick with Gen. Lee!
          He even came to Texas, not far from where we live. Great man.

        2. I know nothing about “tar heel” but wouldn’t that name have some relationship to the tar produced in North Carolina?

          1. Allan……I’ll bet that’s part of it. General Lee did refer to them as tar heels because of their tenacity in battle…”sticking with it” etc.

  3. BANGKOK (AP) — Security camera footage purportedly showed Furlong Lee and Canadian Brittney Lorretta Katherine Schneider, both 23, spraying a message on the walls of the Tha Pae Gate in the northern province of Chiang Mai at around 4 a.m. Thursday.

    Pol Col. Teerasak Sriprasert, chief of the Chiang Mai police, said that the tourists are in custody and have been charged with vandalizing registered ancient artifacts, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison and a million baht ($30,650) fine.

    – AP

      1. 10 years in prison for vandalism in Thailand. They don’t play this liberal —- in Thailand, Russia or Saudi Arabia. It’s not dissimilar to “Crazy Abe” Lincoln’s disciplinary actions against Americans who legally seceded; who disunited their states from the formerly united states. “Crazy Abe” just ignored the Constitution, took the law into his own hands and killed those who seceded. Just kill ’em, Abe, just kill ’em! What would America be like if it actually had a Supreme Court capable of reading the literal words and “manifest tenor” of the Constitution.

  4. After a citizen is inducted into the military, his concern is support of his fellow soldiers and survival, not ideology or politics. Monuments honor sacrifice; the fact that “All gave some and some gave all.” Period.

  5. On Sunday someone needs to go to the Judge’s church and take a leak on the statue of Hey Zeus. They should yell: Hey Zeus! Full of juice. Don’t let your meatloaf.

  6. These revisionists remind of the Nazi party and the Brownshirts who burned books and defaced the works of Jewish artists and rewrote school history books to fit their ideology. Narrow minded pinheads.

  7. All law is a lie. Just go to the low level of traffic court. Every day they are taking speeding tickets and plea bargaining it to “Parking on the pavement” (not sure where you are supposed to park, but that’s another story) which is something the person did not do. I don’t know how any of you can work in such a profession.

    1. They pay me for starters
      and i’m smart so I can “make stuff up” lol

      some things in life are complicated folks

  8. The vandals shouldn’t be charged because it was a victimless crime.

    If a vandal breaks your car window, you are the victim because it is your property.

    However, this was on school property. The school doesn’t feel victimized so they are well within their rights to not press charges.

      1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – that is a horribly low threshold to set for the law.

    1. MarryA – the school administration felt aggrieved enough to have them arrested. I am not sure who represents UNC in this case. I am not sure if alum can or will force a different outcome on UNC over this issue.

        1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – one can never make enough assumptions about the administration.

    2. The vandals shouldn’t be charged because it was a victimless crime.

      It’s not the property of the vandal to dispose of. This isn’t that difficult.

    3. Damn, you cannot be that naive. The mafia really appreciates your support. Extortion? No, just your neighborhood watch program. Blackmail? No, just making sure your private information remains secure. Bribery? No, just sharing the wealth. There are no victims because no one (dares) is pressing charges. Nothing to see here, move along.

      1. Olly, some like MAM don’t think before they post. They read trashy leftwing opinions created for fools so they can restate that garbage elsewhere.

        1. I have a Samsung washing machine that error codes in the rinse cycle. It never completes the full cycle. MAM and the others have error coded in the grief cycle.

      2. If no one is pressing charges, then it’s a victimless crime.

        The school most likely would have taken it down themselves over the next few years anyway.

        So I can see why they didn’t think it would be worth it to have it prosecuted in court.

        I think law enforcement should be more focused on protecting people rather than investigating crimes whose victims don’t seem to care much about.

        1. “If no one is pressing charges, then it’s a victimless crime.”

          MAM, Where did you come up with that nonsense? A homeless person without friends or family is killed. A bunch of juveniles decided it would be fun to watch the man burn to death. To your mind since “no one is pressing charges, then it’s a victimless crime”. This is the type of logic you use whenever you post on this blog. Such is the ridiculous attitudes of all too many on the left.

        2. If no one is pressing charges, then it’s a victimless crime.

          Try going to a #Metoo movement march and make that statement. Wear a sandwich-board and use a bullhorn. Don’t bother pressing charges; no one will consider you a victim. Just another Darwin Award winner.

          If that is too subtle for you, the Declaration of Independence is a great example of victims of crimes finally standing up against their oppressor and pressing charges.

          Try again.

    4. schools dont feel anything. they are fictional entities not natural persons

      by your logic a corporation that did not feel anything could not seek punishment against a vandal. stupid logic

    5. Ah, what a stupid comment.
      If you are not actually stupid, then my apologies.
      The University of North Carolina system owns the statue. It is the property of the system.
      For heaven’s sake, did you not think that no one owned Silent Sam?

  9. As best as I can see from the photos posted online Silent Sam is in remarkably good condition after being pulled over forwards.

    Hardly “destroyed”, Jonathan Turley. Just slightly and repairably damaged.

    1. Oh, so vandalism is just ok?
      I seriously am tempted into a vulgar insult against you, sir, but I have two degrees from UNC. I am a gentleman, unlike you.

    2. I wonder if David is going to be generous enough to pay for the damage done by those vandals? Of course we know the answer is no, so the question is who should pay?

        1. David, some of your replies make you sound like a fool. However, in one reply you acted like a responsible adult ” vandalism is not acceptable.”.

          Vandalism definitely is not acceptable and those that were involved should be punished and made to pay for the statues replair and installation.

  10. So what is the standard? Each judge decides what is art or property worth protecting or not protecting based on his/her own political views?

  11. I like this judgment. There is some post-modern art I think is crap. Using this excuse, I can destroy art at will.

  12. So how will they respond when someone pushes over a statue of Martin Luther King?

    It is very dangerous for a society to condone blatantly lawless conduct. Once out of the box the devil will go where he will, not necessarily where those who open the box will it to go.
    I read that Pelosi was just hounded out of a Miami restaurant and denounced as a Communist. She thought it was fine when Republicans got this treatment. Now she may want to reconsider those Brownshirt policies. But she probably won’t.

    1. Ah, “there were fine people on both sides.” So, you see some similarity between Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., and the random warrior for the continuation of slavery? Thanks, I’ll hang up and listen.

      this is to “but those people were better off as slaves, weren’t they?” rachelle

        1. Sure; the law is infallible. Of course, it was a better time when miscegenation was against the majesty of the law, wasn’t it?

          this is to “they should send those race-traitors to prison” rachelle

    2. This kind of thing only happens in Miami due to the concentration of anti-Communist Cubans. Her handlers just have to remember to keep her out of Miami.

  13. Jonathan Turley, pulling down the statue is far removed from destroying it. I suspect that the metal suffered little damage.

    Show me that I am wrong before claiming that it was destroyed.

    1. You’re wrong, Benson. The statue is a figure that is to be placed on a pedestal and fixed in a desired manner. By toppling the statue, one is destroying it. That the figure remains largely intact is irrelevant. If one were to spray paint or in any other way deface the statue and/or pedestal, the argument would be the same; the original and intended work has been altered or destroyed.

      1. Destroy — put an end to the existence of (something) by damaging or attacking it.

        Learn to use a dictionary.

    2. I can’t believe my eyes that you said what you said. But you said it…
      And your location? Your local heroes?
      What about your racial heroes? Do you have any?
      Or are you ‘fraid?”
      Do you avoid Columbus Day? Or the Fourth of July? Or June 6?
      Does December 7 mean anything to you?
      You wanna pick a fight with Jonathan about damage?
      You are the damage.

      1. profbob – he is a retired electrical engineer living off-campus of WSU. I think he eats with the students though, he seems to be trolling them. He fancies himself an expert on genetics and climate control. Oh, and don’t ever expect him to back up anything he says with a cite. Cites are beneath him.

        1. Don’t claim expertise, just vastly more knowledgeable than others here.

          And I do provide enough information that the mildly industrious can find the references; only Paul C Schulte is too lazy to do so.

          1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – provide the citations and it all goes away.

              1. David Benson is the King of Making Stuff Up and owes me seventeen citations (one from the OED) and the source of a quotation, after nineteen weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – seriously, I would be more concerned about your mind than mine. You are older and closer to the grave or dementia.

                BTW, had my annual physical last week and had the mini-mental which I passed. They have not taken my driver’s license away yet. 😉 Everything was good.

  14. Completely predictable and understandable in an age when unlawful and amoral behavior is widely tolerated and excused. The race to the bottom continues.

      1. Yeah, something like that….except you probably don’t know much about the historical animus between Hispanics and blacks.
        Also, bad cops are always punished, unlike pc racists like Maya Little who get a free pass and praise.

        1. Cindy, Anonymous is a coward. When violence occurs she runs away. There is no thank you for the vast majority of police officers that do a good job and honestly protect the public. When bad things happen one often notes that it is a Liberal that is in charge and that might very well be true in this case as well. That is what happened in the Parkland school shooting. The Promise program from Obama permitted the killer to remain at large. The Sheriff and whole host of other people most responsible for the failure were Liberals who act like Anonymous and also have empty heads with big smiles.

        2. “Also, bad cops are always punished.” — Little Cindy, the naive one

          Sure they are. And if you believe that…

          1. Agony-mous………oh, I didn’t think I would have to spell it out for you..So, to fill in your blanks, allow me to tutor you: IF there are police who are found to be bad ones. they will be brought to justice. Period.
            Yes, I was naive……naive in thinking you could figure out the bleeding obvious, R. Lien.

            1. Little Cindy, again: “IF there are police who are found to be bad ones. they will be brought to justice. Period.”

              Not true. Do your own research.

              1. Anonymous-R.Lien-she devil, whatever…I did my own research. You can’t handle facts, Facts are like garlic to your kind.

                    1. Well this time you definitely failed; you don’t get to grade your own work, Ms. Braggart.

                      Feel free to “move along,” Ms. Bragg. It’s your choice. I’ll move along when I see fit. As for it being a “conversation?” Well, this isn’t a chat room. And I don’t care if you reply.

                      True then, true now.

                      The Police Are Still Out of Control
                      I should know.

                      By FRANK SERPICO
                      October 23, 2014

                      https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/10/the-police-are-still-out-of-control-112160_full.html#.W8pgQEvIr6s

Leave a Reply