Missouri campus police hold suspect for threats to shoot blacks

Reuters News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2015 8:47 AM

(Reuters) - A suspect was in custody on Wednesday for making online threats to shoot black students at the University of Missouri following racial protests that prompted the school's president and chancellor to step down this week, campus police said.

The announcement followed a post on the social media app Yik Yak on Tuesday, tagged for the college town Columbia.

The posting read: "I'm going to stand my ground tomorrow and shoot every black person I see."

In a campus-wide alert early on Wednesday police said they had apprehended the suspect who posted threats on Yik Yak and other social media.

They said the suspect "was not located on or near the MU campus at the time of the threat.”

The threats prompted stepped-up security on the University of Missouri campus, but classes were operating on a regular schedule, authorities said.

On other U.S. campuses, peaceful marches or walkouts have been held, or are planned, over what some demonstrators say is soft handling of reports of racial abuse on campus, including Yale University, Ithaca College and Smith College.

Soon after Missouri president Tim Wolfe announced he would step down on Monday, a crowd of more than 1,000 gathered peacefully at the Afro-American Cultural Center at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, for a "March of Resilience," in solidarity with Missouri.

The crowd sang and chanted for an end to racism on campus. The issue has been in focus at Yale after a fraternity turned away black guests at a Halloween party, saying, according to reports at the time, that only white women would be admitted.

A walkout is also planned at Ithaca College, a private school in upstate New York.

A student group called People of Color at Ithaca College announced on its Facebook page it was planning an on-campus 'Solidarity Walk Out' at 1:30 p.m. (1830 GMT) on Wednesday and demanded the resignation of Ithaca president Tom Rochon.

Students at Smith College, a women's private school in Massachusetts, plan a similar walkout for midday on Wednesday.

A group of University of Missouri professors walked out of classes on Tuesday even after the resignation of Wolfe.

"I support the students who are still camping out and fighting for racial justice on campus," Elisa Glick, an associate professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies, told Reuters in an email.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Alden Bentley and W Simon)