Author Topic: Ole Miss Students May Face Charges in Racist Incident  (Read 371 times)

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Offline Carling

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Ole Miss Students May Face Charges in Racist Incident
« on: February 21, 2014, 09:48:10 PM »
It's disgusting that these students did this, but which federal charges did they break?  I suppose they could be charged with vandalism locally, but that's about it.  Ole Miss expelled them, which I suppose is their right, although as a public institution, a free speech case could probably be made by the alleged perps.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/22/us/officials-seek-to-question-3-ole-miss-students-in-racist-episode.html

Quote
OXFORD, Miss. — The University of Mississippi said Friday that students could face criminal charges for placing a noose on a statue honoring the college’s first black student, and a fraternity announced that it had expelled three men because of the incident.

Sigma Phi Epsilon, a social fraternity on campus, said in a statement that the men were a part of the group’s chapter at the university. The chapter, which said it told investigators about the role its members may have played in the vandalism, was suspended.

The university said its inquiry led law enforcement officials to seek interviews with three students, all of them white 19-year-old freshmen from Georgia. But the students, whom the university did not identify because of an educational privacy law, refused through their lawyers to meet with the authorities unless investigators secured arrest warrants.

The university said that two of the students initially agreed to meet with law enforcement officials on Thursday morning, but that neither appeared.

“As university police were attempting to locate the two students late Thursday, they became aware of an Oxford attorney who was representing one of the students, which then led to information that three students had retained legal counsel,” the university said in the statement. “Two of the students were those being sought by the university police, but all three names had been prominent in the investigation.”

The university’s police department has been leading the investigation, which began Sunday after a contractor heard men shouting racial slurs near the monument to James Meredith. Along with a noose, the authorities found a version of the Georgia state flag that featured the Confederate battle emblem.

The investigation, Chancellor Daniel W. Jones acknowledged this week, began unsteadily. Dr. Jones said that he did not learn of the incident until Monday.

“Certainly, there was a failure there to communicate this sensitive issue in a timely way,” Dr. Jones said. “Our officers are terrific. I’m proud of them; they get most things right. It’s disappointing that we didn’t have an opportunity to begin working on this a little bit earlier.”

But the investigation, once it did begin, led senior administrators to “believe sufficient evidence exists to bring criminal charges against the suspects,” the university statement said.

Danny Blanton, a spokesman for the university, said that a prosecutor in Oxford was weighing whether to charge the students. Mr. Blanton said he did not know when law enforcement officials would reach a decision.

It was also unclear Friday what charges the men could face, but the F.B.I., which has been assisting the university, said earlier this week that the attack could yield federal charges.

On Friday, an F.B.I. spokeswoman referred questions to the university.

Whether or not any of the students are prosecuted in the courts, the university said that at least two of them would be charged in the student judicial system. The university said that under its policies, that process “would call on the students to respond but can proceed without their cooperation,” the statement said.

The incident has emerged as a source of deep embarrassment for the university, which has labored to move past its difficult racial history and lingering associations with the violent riots that accompanied its integration. The vandalism also prompted a student-led demonstration on Tuesday,

In a statement Monday about the incident, Dr. Jones said, “Their ideas have no place here, and our response will be an even greater commitment to promoting the values that are engraved on the statue — courage, knowledge, opportunity and perseverance.”

Mr. Meredith, who enrolled in 1962 as the picturesque campus became the setting for riots that killed two people, condemned the incident in a telephone interview this week as “nonsense.”
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Offline Chieftain

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Re: Ole Miss Students May Face Charges in Racist Incident
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2014, 10:34:25 PM »
There are Federal "Hate Crime" statutes that can be applied in specific instances, and I am not sure this qualifies.  Sounds like the College will vigorously look into this, as they should, because regardless of the statute the intention of these idiots was clear and at the right time and place may well have provoked a violent reaction.

This is sheer stupidity and I wonder how any of these guys got into college in the first place.

Offline Carling

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Re: Ole Miss Students May Face Charges in Racist Incident
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2014, 10:44:31 PM »
There are Federal "Hate Crime" statutes that can be applied in specific instances, and I am not sure this qualifies.  Sounds like the College will vigorously look into this, as they should, because regardless of the statute the intention of these idiots was clear and at the right time and place may well have provoked a violent reaction.

This is sheer stupidity and I wonder how any of these guys got into college in the first place.

I still don't understand what the federal crime would be.  "Could have incited a riot" isn't, nor shouldn't, be a law.  Who is the victim in this 'hate crime?'  James Meredith?   Obama himself has incited more riots based on his rhetoric than these idiots. 
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 10:45:15 PM by Carling »
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Offline Chieftain

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Re: Ole Miss Students May Face Charges in Racist Incident
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2014, 10:59:58 PM »
I still don't understand what the federal crime would be.  "Could have incited a riot" isn't, nor shouldn't, be a law.  Who is the victim in this 'hate crime?'  James Meredith?   Obama himself has incited more riots based on his rhetoric than these idiots.

I just answered your question as I understand it, and I am not an attorney attached to the case.....



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