Chief Told Officers To 'Stay Way Out' From Rioters Toppling Monument

Police Chief Chris Blue ordered officers to stand back as protesters vandalized a century-old Confederate monument.

Chapel Hill, NC Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue told officers to give protesters lots of space and to stay way out from the crowds who eventually toppled the Silent Sam Confederate monument at the University of North Carolina (UNC) on Aug. 20, according to the chiefs emails and texts.

The content of Chief Blues correspondence with officers involved with the destructive rioters was contained in pages of texts and emails obtained by WRAL.

During the exchanges, which began at approximately 6:30 p.m., Chief Blue asked about the size of the crowds at the campus and told officers to be on high alert for counter protesters and individuals wearing masks.

Looks like about 200 people. Making speeches. Crowd is calm, an early text to Chief Blue read. They saw a couple of counter folks moving up from the planetarium. They [are] keeping eyes on them.

He received more updates as the crowd moved towards McCorckle place, where the statue of Silent Sam was displayed.

"Ok. Monitor the masked folks. Keep our folks off McCorkle place for now, Chief Blue instructed, according to WRAL.

At 7:35 p.m., the chief ordered the plainclothes guys to really look out for counter-protesters to arrive.

The longer they take with the statue the more time Folks have to arrive, he added.

By 9 p.m., just before the statue was toppled, Chief Blue told his officers to step away from the riotous crowd.

Lets give them lots of spacedo not engage [with the] Crowd at statue. Stay way out, he texted, according to WRAL. WRAL shows CHPD guys too close. Back up.

Shortly thereafter, the crowed yanked the monument from its pedestal, sending it crashing onto the ground, video footage showed.

The protesters screamed in celebration, as they jumped and kicked the statue of the facedown Confederate soldier.

The statue was erected in 1913 in honor of the students who left UNC to serve in the Civil War, according to The Graduate School of the University of North Carolina.

At least 40 percent of the students enrolled at the university between 1861 and 1865 enlisted, a record not equaled by any other institution, the graduate school website read.

Chief Blue soon encountered backlash from community members who were angered at the departments inaction during the vandalism that occurred right in front of them, WRAL reported.

"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 in an email to the chief, according to the news outlet.

"When do you get to decide what laws you will enforce? a man named Danny asked in another message. If this is what you call law enforcement it is time for you to retire.

Others were outraged after seeing a photograph of an officers tattoo, which used a Three Percenters symbol, The Charlotte Observer reported.

A police officer standing guard at Silent Sam sports a tattoo with the three percenter symbol, photographer Daniel Hosterman captioned the photo in social media posts. These patriot groups have been known to openly protect racists, fascists and neo-Nazis including on A12 2017 in Charlottesville and in Portland for the Patriot Prayer brawls.

Despite the criticism, Chief Blue thanked the department in an email on Aug. 21.

"I'm understandably proud of our agency's history of protecting people, the chiefs email read, according to WRAL. All who were working last night most certainly did that well.

Three individuals were arrested during the riot for misdemeanor offenses including defacing a public monument and misdemeanor rioting.

No injuries were reported.

You can watch footage of the Silent Sam monument vandalism in the video below:

Comments (53)
No. 1-20
THEDUKE
THEDUKE

oh, sure .....and while they are at it please look the other way when the lowlife's rob and torch the downtown businesses and shops as well. Nice job Chief Blue. How about upholding the rule of law and stop those who take the law into their own hands? You are not the one to cherry pick which laws you will enforce. Vote him out asap.

DavidPeoria
DavidPeoria

Why wasn't the Chief present at the event? Was he hiding?

Officer Cynical
Officer Cynical

Nothing new here, folks. Just another administrator more afraid of looking bad than looking after his officers.

Buzz17
Buzz17

I'd hate to be an officer under this guy! Not to mention, toppling statues does nothing to change history, is a dangerous act & should be outlawed. No one is forcing anyone to look at a statue--don't like it, don't look at it. All kinds of things out there these days that I find offensive. I just turn away from them & look at something more pleasant. Guess that makes too much sense, something these folks are seriously lacking.

ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

Oh yeah, look at how tough these people are, stomping and yelling at a lifeless hunk of stone and metal. Why don't we send them en masse over to an ISIS-occupied territory and see how tough they really are?

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

If you're upset by a Confederate statue coming down, you're either a White Supremacist or a traitor to USA. Probably both, to be honest.

Statues of enemies to the country shouldn't stand. Keep pulling them down.

JBo
JBo

The law is the law. It must applied equally to everyone or it will applied to no one. Your personal beliefs can't enter into it even if you do support vandalism and rioting.

Milman
Milman

Piss poor excuse for a Police Chief. You swore to uphold the law. You failed! Coward!

Flyright
Flyright

Selectively enforcing the law. Sounds like the Chief needs to find a new line of work. Something more in line with cowards.

LostAllSanity
LostAllSanity

So, it is fair and acceptable to destroy anything in Chapel Hill that offends anyone? That is a pretty broad line in the sand Chief. What if it is a business? What if it is your patrol cars? Everything is racist and offensive to antifa. Where does our law enforcement hold the line - or is the community on its own? Any removal of property should be a decision by the city - not a bunch of kids. Blue-to-the-bone, Chief - but disappointed in what happened. You just added fuel to an increasingly dangerous scenario that is building momentum in this country.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Hypothetically as an example -then of course no one should mind at all when others topple a statue of MLK by those who didn't agree with his politics and views ..or maybe deface a historically black church by those who choose to not like what was taught as sermon. Maybe setting a school on fire is also ok? This lawlessness works in all other ways as well right? The hypocrisy of so many leftist views are beyond mind numbing and ignorant. Watch them cry until provided their pacifier when that happens. Stop coddling these out of control ,spoiled,vile and disgusting children.

angeleyes
angeleyes

Oh for crying out loud. No one here knows what was going on behind the scenes. our LEOs are not cowards, we don't know if the chief was told by a higher up to stand down. no one knows what was going on, but we speculate and we judge anyway. smh

stooge819
stooge819

Maybe he had a valid reason for not being there. It'd have to be a pretty good one though. But a leader doesn't lead from the rear.

asillyrabbit551
asillyrabbit551

apparently this "chief" won't stand up for his officers and back them up. Sounds to me like his officers have no use for this empty suit.

SAAM
SAAM

Actually I have a great deal of first hand knowledge of this agency having worked there for a number of years as a street cop and as a street supervisor. Granted, this was decades ago but the mindset has not changed.

Chapel Hill is a very liberal town and completely dependent on the University of North Carolina. There is no other industry. The University Police usually handle calls for service on school property but not if there will be an image problem associated with it. Certain crimes, such as suicide and rape, are always handled by the UNC police because UNC can control the output of information. They also handle other types of crime that the UNC spinsters can put a positive spin on.

If there will be a media problem or possibility of bad PR, then the Chapel Hill Police will be called to handle it and take the fall for any PR nightmare. The officers are hard working and dedicated but subject to the whims of the Town Council and UNC, even thought UNC has no direct control over the department. They are the largest taxpayer and local businesses are dependent on them.

Chapel Hill PD is known as a training department because once officers learn the basics of policing, they move elsewhere. High turnover. No seasoned officers from other agencies ever apply at CHPD. Chapel Hill is not the county seat but picking an impartial jury is a challenge in this county because of the population density in Chapel Hill. You can't convince these college jurors that CSI and NCIS are just a TV shows.

I've never met this chief but I guarantee he was looking to avoid a PR nightmare in this instance regardless of the consequences. He doesn't support riots or damaging things. He supports keeping his job. This was the lesser of two evils. In his mind and the Town Council's mind, better to take the PR hit for allowing damage to property, along with some injuries if it happens, than a full blown media circus with tear gas, body armor, helmets, and buses lined up for the jail.

Remember, this is a department where my chief prohibited officers from carrying shotguns in patrol cars because they looked "too aggressive". The chief also said that shotguns were "available on a 20 minute notice".

magnumforc
magnumforc

People want to obliterate our nation's history, other than the history they want you to see and hear. We had a civil war and there were heroes on each side. But that matters not to the ignorant buffoons who see anything other than their own agenda as an affront to their liberalism, socialism and alleged culture. College kids supported by mommy and daddy who will be awash in the sea of real life when their support system crumbles. Oh, wait, we have welfare for them don't we?

JBo
JBo

When only one view or political position is allowed, that's called a dictatorship.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Seeing LowEST IQ-Condom has had another bout of oral diarrhea.This little boy has an accident and Mommy needs to carry facial "Depends" diapers for situations just like these. Ignore this little toddler as he craves negative attention and take pity on him as he just cannot control it. I hope you understand and we thank you for your patience.

grandaddydean
grandaddydean

Many of us in North Carolina are demanding the chief be fired, the Chancellor be fired and the statue be put back up.

LetGodSortItOut
LetGodSortItOut

Also, I strongly encourage all retired LE to do their civic duty here: at antifa attended events, impersonate, mask up, glove up , grab an ASP and some sort of electrical weapon like a cattle prod,and punch the fk out of and smash random antifa cowards.