Man, woman arrested for vandalizing UNC monument honoring slaves, Black workers

Two people were charged after being arrested for damaging a monument at the University of North Carolina that is dedicated to honoring the memory of the once-enslaved in the area

A man and a woman have been arrested for defacing a memorial to slaves and Black workers on the University

Hameltion(Creative Commons)

A man and a woman have been arrested for defacing a memorial to slaves and Black workers on the University of North Carolina campus, local news website is reporting.

The pair also replaced a United States flag with a Confederate flag outside of UNC offices, said.

Nancy Rushton McCorkle, 50, of Newberry, S.C., and Ryan Francis Barrett, 31, of Sanford, N.C., are charged with using permanent marker and urine to write racist language and relieve themselves on the Unsung Founders Memorial on McCorkle Place in Chapel Hill, N.C.

READ MORE: Activists tear down controversial Confederate statue on UNC campus

It is not known if Nancy Rushton McCorkle is related to the namesake for the street, but interim UNC Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz has said that one of the two — seen on security videotape — is tied to the group Heirs to the Confederacy, a group that opposes the removal of Confederate monuments and statues.

A Facebook group dedicated to the Heirs of the Confederacy says the group is “devoted to the preservation of our Southern heritage and traditions, Confederate monuments and memorials, the Honor of our flags, and the Cause of the Confederate States of America; freedom, the preservation of the Constitution, and the memory of the Old Republic, America as it was meant to be.”

Last week, an official with the group denied their members had anything to do with defacing the monument.

“Neither myself nor the Board of Directors ever has or ever would sanction such an act; it goes against everything we stand for,” K. Lancy Spivey, the chairman of the organization told the Raleigh News & Observer at the time.

READ MORE: Confederate Group Denies Racist Defacement of College Monument at UNC

McCorkle and Barrett were arrested Monday morning, reported. McCorkle is charged with vandalism and ethnic intimidation and Barrett with two counts of vandalism. Both are charged with one count each of ethnic intimidation and public urination. Both also were issued criminal summonses related to stealing the United States flag from UNC offices. That incident happened around the same time as the memorial incident, the news organization reported.

The memorial was erected in 2005 at the UNC campus.

The charges leveled against the two are misdemeanors, according to Yahoo News. It was not known if either of the suspects have secured legal representation.