In US, threat to 'shoot every black person I see'

2015-11-11 16:23
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Columbia - University of Missouri police said on Wednesday they have arrested a suspect accused of making online threats against black students and faculty, after racial tensions on campus resulted in the departure of two senior university officials.

Police did not release a name, but said the suspect was not on or near campus when the threat was made. The suspect is in custody.

"We had additional officers on patrol last night and the campus remained safe," Major Brian Weimer said in a statement.

The online posts on the anonymous location-based messaging app YikYak and other social media on Tuesday threatened to "shoot every black person I see".

A university spokesperson couldn't immediately be reached for further comment, but the school's online emergency information centre tweeted, "There is no immediate threat to campus."

It has been a tumultuous week for the flagship campus of the University of Missouri system.

The student government president reported in September that people shouted racial slurs at him from a passing pick-up truck, galvanising the protest movement. A graduate student went on hunger strike to demand the resignation of university system president Tim Wolfe over his handling of racial complaints, and more than 30 members of the Missouri football team went on strike in his support.

Wolfe resigned on Monday. Hours later, the top administrator of the Columbia campus, chancellor R Bowen Loftin, was forced out.

David Wallace, a spokesperson for the student government group Missouri Students Association, said the group asked university officials to cancel classes on Wednesday in light of the threats.

"It's really disheartening and proves the point of why these protests and boycotts were necessary," Gaby Rodriguez, a senior, said.

Some students, faculty and alumni have said the protests and top leaders' resignations are the culmination of years of racial tension. The university has promised changes.

Chuck Henson, a black law professor and associate dean, was appointed on Tuesday as the university's first-ever interim vice chancellor for inclusion, diversity and equity.

Read more on:    us  |  racism

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