The Silent Sam statue on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill was toppled by protesters Monday night.
UNC issued a statement about the forced removal of the statue, saying that it occurred at 9:20 p.m. and that the crowd included about 250 protesters.
"Tonight's actions were dangerous, and we are very fortunate that no one was injured," the statement said. "We are investigating the vandalism and assessing the full extent of the damage."
Gov. Roy Cooper's office also issued a statement on the statue's removal. He has been in contact with local law enforcement and UNC officials about the rally, according to a tweet from Cooper's Twitter account.
"The Governor understands that many people are frustrated by the pace of change and he shares their frustration, but violent destruction of public property has no place in our communities," wrote Ford Porter, press secretary for the governor, in the statement.
The controversial statue depicts a Confederate soldier, and it had been on the campus since 1913, according to a News & Observer history of the statue.
The statue's removal comes a year after a Confederate statue was toppled by protesters near East Campus. Protesters had gathered downtown in response to a rumored white supremacist rally. A "Do it like Durham" ball cap can be seen sitting on part of the Silent Sam statue in one image, according to tweets by the Daily Tar Heel.
Last year, Duke's statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed by the University from its perch in front of the Chapel after it was vandalized. Last week, Duke President Vincent Price announced the space will be left empty and a plaque will be installed nearby explaining the open space.