Car's owner says he's responsible for 'racist graffiti'
The Riley County Police Department says during the course of their investigation into a car tagged with racial slurs, the owner of the vehicle admitted he was responsible for the graffiti.
Police say "this admission led to a series of conversations between Riley County Police Department Director Brad Schoen and Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson. Director Schoen and County Attorney Wilkerson concluded that despite having filed a false report, the filing of criminal charges against (the car's owner) for having done so would not be in the best interests of the citizens who comprise the Manhattan community."
For his part, the Riley County Police Department says, the car's owner "was genuinely remorseful and expressed sincere regret that his actions had resulted in the negative media attention."
"I would like to deeply apologize to the community," the car's owner says. "The whole situation got out of hand when it shouldn't have even started. It was just a Halloween prank that got out of hand. I wish I could go back to that night, but I can't. I just want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for the pain and news I have brought you all."
Kansas State University's Black Student Union held an emergency meeting on Wednesday. It comes after Riley County Police Department reported that they were investigating a car that had been vandalized with racial slurs.
The FBI has since taken over the investigation which it says may be considered a hate crime.
BSU president says that's one reason his organization felt it was time to let the administration know about how black students feel on campus.
"Really, the need for a meeting like this was not only based on the incidents that happened yesterday but the multitude of incidents that have happened this year," said Darrell Reese Jr. President of the BSU.
Wednesday's incident did not take place on campus and the owner of the vehicle was not a student. Still, Reece says there has been a rise in racial incidents on campus.
"If you think of the climate of the nation right now, it's not something that's just happening at K-State," said Reese.
Students who met Wednesday shared their thoughts on K-State's climate.
"What scares me the most, is that I'm starting to get used to it," said Kez Demby, a senior at K-State. Like many students at the university, Kemby woke up to pictures with racial slurs flooding his social media network.
"I was disgusted," explained Demby. "I was kind of mortified; it was horrifying to me."
Demby says he was outraged at what he saw and he thinks outrage is what is needed to spark change.
"It is not enough to be non-racist, you must be actively anti-racist," said Demby.
He says the majority of people are not expressing anger towards racist incidents.
"It's more of a moral duty of our white counterparts to be just as outraged as the black ones because their voices carry much more weight than they realize," said Demby.
Both he and Reese think K-State administrators need to do more to combat similar incidents on and near campus; but, Reese says he understands how it can be hard to punish individuals when racial incidents occur surrounding campus and do not involve students.
He says the best thing K-State administrators can do is to have conversations with students of all backgrounds.
Dean of Students Pat Bosco attended the Black Student Union meeting Wednesday and stayed in the multicultural office for most of the day to listen to students' concerns.
"We have to continue to make strides for the change we want to see on campus," said Reese.