A black student has admitted to tagging a Michigan college with racist graffiti in an apparent hoax that prompted protests and outrage from school administrators, police said.
Albion Department of Public Safety and Albion College confirmed that a student was responsible for the April 2 graffiti vandalism that left the phrases “KKK,” “White Power,” and “Die N—— Please” on a university wall. The 21-year-old, who has yet to be named, was released after questioning on Tuesday, and possible charges will be left to the discretion of the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office once the investigation is complete.
“Earlier today, we identified the individual responsible for the racist and anti-Semitic graffiti in Mitchell Towers,” the university wrote in a Wednesday tweet. “The student, who was acting alone, acknowledged their responsibility for these incidents. They have been immediately removed from campus and placed on temporary suspension while we conduct a full investigation as part of our student judicial process.”
Although police confirmed the suspect’s race and gender, the school initially did not. Instead, the 1,475-student liberal arts college 100 miles west of Detroit insisted in a statement that the acts were racist and rooted in the school’s history of “racial pain and trauma.”
“But we know the acts of racism that have occurred this week are not about one particular person or one particular incident,” Albion College wrote. “We know that there is a significant history of racial pain and trauma on campus and we are taking action to repair our community. We will change and heal together as a community, because we are committed to doing the work.
However, when pressed by the Washington Examiner, the school acknowledged it had identified a “student of color” as the perpetrator in the incident. The college added that information related to the offense was turned over to police.