Chief Chris Blue of the Chapel Hill (NC) Police Department instructed his officers to stand aside last week as protesters pulled down a controversial Confederate monument on the University of North Carolina campus, according to Fox News.
Demonstrators tore down the Confederate monument known as 'Silent Sam' last week, as officers from Chapel Hill PD and the UNC Police Department stood aside.
WRAL-TV obtained bout 400 pages of emails and texts to and from Blue on the day of the protest and the day afterward, and the messages showed Blue instructing the officers to give the protesters "lots of space" and "stay way out."
The texts also revealed that Blue was particularly concerned about the potential arrival of counter protesters who could enflame the situation.
"Need to make sure our plainclothes guys are really looking out for counter protesters to arrive," Blue texts at 7:35 p.m. "This thing is all over tv and internet. The longer they take with the statue the more time Folks have to arrive."
No one was injured during the protest, and three people were charged with misdemeanor rioting and misdemeanor defacing a public monument in connection with the statue's toppling.