3 charged with toppling of UNC's 'Silent Sam' statue

North Caroline Police filed charges Friday against three people they say played some part in tearing down a century-old Confederate statue during a protest this week.

Hundreds of student protesters gathered at the University of North Carolina’s campus in Chapel Hill Monday night to bring down the statue known as “Silent Sam.”

Using ropes and violent force, the protesters toppled the statute which had stood that ground since 1913.

The university said in a news release that the unidentified individuals were not affiliated with the school and they have been charged with misdemeanor charges of rioting and defacing a public monument.

A police spokesman said no arrests in connection with the 3 being charged had been made as of Friday afternoon but that more arrests could be possible.

Another protester was charged earlier in the week with misdemeanor counts of resisting officers and wearing a mask shortly before the statue came down.

University and legislative leaders have condemned the protesters' actions as "mob rule," demanding a hard look at the police response and a full criminal investigation. The State Bureau of Investigation has been brought in to assist.

University leaders have also noted the protest was highly organized and "unlike any" they'd seen before.

On Thursday, Chancellor Carol Folt told reporters the university had expected a smaller demonstration and was taken by surprise.

"I will tell you absolutely that we had no anticipation of any plans to tear down the statue," Folt said.

The statue is in temporary storage, and its future is unclear.

Before it was torn down, it had been under constant, costly police surveillance after being vandalized in recent months. Many students, faculty and alumni argued that "Silent Sam" symbolized racism and asked officials to take it down.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.