University admin sounds alarm over anonymously reported hate crimes. There's just one problem.
An Instagram account claimed that Black students at Adelphi University were threatened with lynching.
The university sent two communications to the student body, even though local police found no evidence of hate crime threats.
An anonymous Instagram account claimed that Black students at Adelphi University received lynching threats. Although the university sent two warnings to the student body, local police found no evidence of hate crime threats.
Black at AU — an account that seeks to “discuss the institutional racism at Adelphi university” — sounded the alarm that students had been targeted with racially motivated threats.
“ALERT!! Students are threatening to lynch Black students in retaliation to this page,” read the post. “Students addresses have been posted. Be safe.”
The students tagged NPR, CNN, and racial activist Shaun King in the post.
In response to the anonymous post — which included no corroborating evidence — the school sent a statement to the student body.
“There have been recent incidents of students using racial slurs, hateful comments, and reported threats of violence and retaliation on social media — and sadly, this is not the first time these issues have occurred,” said Adelphi President Christine Riordan. “To those among us who have been targeted, directly and indirectly, we hate that this has happened to you, and we hate that we have not yet found a way to stop it.”
“Ignorance, racism, hate and violence hold no place in the Adelphi community, yet those things keep happening here,” continued the communication. “We know there is no place at Adelphi for inexcusable messages of white supremacy and anti-Blackness, but such racist attacks are a stark reminder of the work we need to do to combat systemic inequality and ongoing racism in our very own community.”
Adelphi University Strategic Communications Director Todd Wilson directed Campus Reform toward another statement published the following day.
The second statement admitted that public safety and local police officers “have continued to ask for direct evidence of threats from those who have received them firsthand and none have been submitted for investigation.”
Nevertheless, the university enlisted “an external cyber/digital forensic firm to add to the police investigations.”
"After an investigation this week by public safety and the Garden City police, we do not currently have any substantiated claims or specific examples of threats of racially motivated violence or harm to our community members. We do not have any names of people perpetuating these crimes," the university said in a statement.
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