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Vandals deface slave memorial with racial slurs and urine at a university in North Carolina


Suspects might be tied to Heirs to the Confederacy group

Eamon Queeney/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Vandals defaced a memorial to slaves and black workers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill over the weekend.

Two people allegedly defaced the Unsung Founders Memorial with racist language and urine at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning, the Daily Tar Heel reported.

"These events challenge not only our most fundamental community values, but also the safety of our campus," UNC interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz told the New York Times in a statement Sunday.

Officials believe at least one of the suspects might have ties to the Heirs to the Confederacy group, according to multiple reports.

The memorial, installed in 2005, honors "those men and women of color — enslaved and free — who helped build the Carolina we all know and love," according to the university. The memorial features a stone tabletop held up by 300 bronze figurines.

Someone also tagged an art installation on campus with racial slurs later Sunday, according to campus officials.

Police have not released the names of the suspects citing an ongoing investigation. Authorities also declined to provide the specific language written on the memorial.

What did Heirs to the Confederacy say?

Lance Spivey, Heirs to the Confederacy chairman, told the Times that he had no information connecting his members to the alleged crimes.

He acknowledged that two members were on the UNC campus Saturday night and that he would be investigating the accusations. If the members committed the vandalism, they did it in a "renegade capacity," he told the newspaper.

Spivey went on to add that two members were cooperating with authorities. If the pair is found guilty, Spivey said that the group would also take action against the members.

What else?

In August, a group of protesters knocked over the 105-year-old "Silent Sam" Confederate statue on the UNC campus.

The university has cleaned the Unsung Founders Memorial and placed barricades around it in an attempt to "deter future incidents," police told the Times.

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