WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - Purdue police are investigating an act of vandalism on campus as a hate crime. It comes just a day after a possible racist act was determined to not be racist.
"When it's blatant like that, it just surprises me," said Purdue senior Gabrielle Mitchell.
"You know, it is a serious thing," said senior Matt Rasmussen.
An act of racism is a very serious thing at Purdue. So serious, that police are investigating the most recent act of racism as a hate crime. A poster left behind by protesters from Monday was defaced Tuesday morning with a racial slur and stick figure drawing of a body hanging from a tree.
"Because there was damage to the property and it was racially motivated, is what tips it to be investigated as a hate crime," said John Cox, Purdue Police Chief.
The poster was part of memorial from Monday's march. The march which was organized after the words "white supremacy" were found at the Black Cultural Center last week. Police said that supposedly racist incident was not a truly racist act. Officers said it had been left over from an earlier class discussion. Even so, students, faculty, and administrators marched on campus demanding the school take action against racist acts.
"Especially after that demonstration happened yesterday and everything like that, you think the last thing that somebody would do would be to go to the site where that happened and actually deface something right there on campus," said Rasmussen.
"We're always going to be here. There's always going to be diverse, different people here no matter. Not one race is better than the other. We just need to get over that," said Mitchell.
The Dean of Students is also investigating because the action is a violation of student code.
This is believed to be the fourth act of racism police have investigated in the last 14 months, though one of those four turned out to not be racist.
Purdue police have collected the poster and surveillance footage to investigate. They said anybody who noticed any suspicious activity around 9:15-9:30 a.m. Tuesday should contact the department.
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