A white man was arrested by University of Missouri police on charges of threatening the school’s black students. The incident followed the resignation of the school's president over mishandling racial abuse complaints.
The suspect, 19-year-old Hunter M. Park of Rolla, Missouri, about 95 miles (150 km) south of the University of Missouri's flagship campus in Columbia, was not a student, police said after Wednesday's arrest. Park allegedly made threats on social media to "stand my ground tomorrow and shoot every black person I see."
"We're waiting for you at the parking lots," said another threat; "We will kill you."
University on edge
Tensions have been extremely high on campus following the resignation of President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin. The pair decided to step down following weeks of protest by the group Concerned Student 1950, whose name references the first year African American students were allowed to attend the school.
The group carried out a week-long sit in (pictured above) at the university's main plaza and graduate student Jonathan Butler launched a hunger strike over incidents of racial abuse that, they charged, the administration had done little to address. They were also concerned about the lack of diversity among the student body and the faculty.
The protest movement began to garner nation-wide headlines when around 30 African American football players said they would strike until Wolfe stepped down, in a move that could have cost the university millions if the team was unable to play its upcoming games.
President resigns amid mounting pressure
President Wolfe had insisted that the university was working a plan, to be presented next April, to promote diversity and tolerance at the University of Missouri, but he bowed to increasingly pressure to leave his post on Monday.
"I take full responsibility for this frustration and I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred," he said at a press conference.
But students at Mizzou, as the school is nicknamed, were still frustrated on Wednesday by what the felt was the downplaying of Park's threat and the refusal to cancel classes amidst security concerns.
Many other universities across the US have staged walkouts, or are planning to this week, in solidarity with Mizzou.
es/kms (AP, Reuters)