Student Indicted for College Noose Incident
A federal grand jury indicted a University of Mississippi student on two separate civil rights charges on Friday for hanging a noose and a flag depicting a Confederate symbol around a campus statue. The statue honors James Meredith, the first African-American to attend the university.
Ole Miss student Graeme Phillip Harris was indicted on one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights and one count of using a threat of force to intimidate black students due to their skin color, according to prosecutors.
“This shameful and ignorant act is an insult to all Americans and a violation of our most strongly-held values,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement. “No one should ever be made to feel threatened or intimidated because of what they look like or who they are.”
Meredith enrolled at Ole Miss in 1962, a period where blacks were blatantly discriminated against. Students, faculty and the state’s governor heavily opposed his attendance, with riots ensuing as a result. More than 3,000 soldiers and 500 U.S. marshals were sent to quell the violence. More than 200 people were injured.
Prosecutors said Harris plotted with other students to drape the offensive items around the statue on Feb. 16, 2014. Mississippi’s NAACP described that act as a “racial hate crime.”
The FBI and the University of Mississippi Police Department have their own separate investigations pending. May justice be served.