Police are investigating after a Confederate monument was vandalized in Salisbury, N.C.
Authorities responded to a call early Saturday morning, and found the “Fame” monument covered in white paint, according to local reports.
Volunteers cleaned the monument by Saturday afternoon, WBTV in Charlotte reported. No arrests have been made.
"I regret that the Confederate statue was vandalized," Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins said in a statement. "Nothing should ever be vandalized. I am very saddened that someone has taken their time to try and instigate issues throughout our community."
Residents said the vandalism is indicative of rising racial tensions in the area — it occurred just days after residents in a predominately black neighborhood received flyers promoting the KKK, according to WBTV.
Confederate monuments in North Carolina have been the topic of debate for months, after Gov. Roy Cooper (D) called last year for all Confederate statues to be removed from public property.
A 2015 state law bars the removal of the monuments without legislative approval. But several monuments have been vandalized in the state in the months since.
Salisbury Indivisible, a local activist group, had called for the removal of the “Fame” statue last September, asking city officials to move it to a “museum or a cemetery.”
“Taking action to relocate ‘Fame’ will demonstrate that Salisbury is a forward-looking city invested in diversity and respecting the sensibilities of all its residents,” the group said.