Salisbury residents concerned about racial tensions after Confederate monument vandalized

SALISBURY, N.C. — Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins is asking for the city to remain calm after several racially-motivated incidents.

Police are looking for the person who vandalized the “Fame” Confederate monument Saturday morning.

Residents shared their concerns to Channel 9 about rising racial tensions and threats of violence.

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Police said vandals threw white paint on the monument, and many watched as people later cleaned the monument.

The tribute stands downtown honoring Rowan County Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.

“It’s just a sign of the times. I'm not shocked. I'm shocked it took so long,” local resident Timothy Fonville said

This is the latest in a string of race-related incidents in Rowan County.

Earlier this month, the mayor faced pushback when she called for the city to apologize for the lynching of three black men more than a century ago.

Just this week, residents received flyers encouraging them to contact the KKK.

“It’s indicative of a deeper conversation,” Heggins said, “I think we all need to keep cool heads and not approach any of this with any kind of emotional motivation.”

Heggins and other longtime residents are hoping these concerning incidents inspire peaceful dialogue and not acts of hate.

“Don't use this as an opportunity to start violence,” Fonville said.

“I don't want anyone to think this really represents our city, because it does not,” Heggins said.

Police have not arrested anyone for the vandalism.

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