Two individuals were arrested by UNC Police Monday morning for vandalizing a memorial honoring slaves at the University of North Carolina, according to The Daily Tar Heel.
Suspects Nancy McCorkle, 50, and Ryan Barnett, 31, face misdemeanor charges of vandalism and ethnic intimidation. Barnett is also reportedly facing a misdemeanor charge of public urination, according to an email from UNC Police.
The campus art installment, called the Unsung Founders Memorial, was defaced on March 31 with urine and racial slurs.
The round, roughly 6-foot-wide tabletop was defaced with urine and racist messages written in permanent marker, police said.
Two individuals with ties to the Heirs of Confederacy were arrested by UNC Police Monday morning for March 31 acts of vandalism to the Unsung Founders Memorial and a campus art installment. https://t.co/fA62KDkHRq pic.twitter.com/GOTYhgkiY4
— Bob Karp (@BobKarpDR) April 8, 2019
The university said one of the individuals identified in surveillance footage had been linked to a group called Heirs to the Confederacy, though one of the group’s co-founders said the organization did not approve of the vandalism and did not have information pointing to members defacing the memorial, the outlet reported.
Lance Spivey, chairman of the Heirs to the Confederacy, told The New York Times that both McCorkle and Barnett are members of the group.
Spivey told the newspaper the group was investigating the charges against the two.
“The defacement of the Unsung Founders Memorial, and all of the other brazen acts of white supremacist violence on the UNC campus over the past several months…have occurred because Carolina’s administration and police are active agents in the propagation of white supremacy.” https://t.co/7e57nX1pp1
— Take Action Chapel Hill (@takeactionch) April 10, 2019
Hours after the vandalism was discovered a passing driver noticed the Confederate flag flying at the UNC General Administration office on Raleigh Road and notified campus police, UNC spokesman Jason Tyson said in an email.
“The UNC System would never hoist the Confederate flag,” Tyson said, noting that the U.S. and North Carolina flags are usually joined by a banner for the university system.
A police officer pulled down the Confederate flag and disposed of it, he said.