Duke University officials last week said an investigation has been launched following the on-campus posting of George Floyd’s toxicology report with handwritten slurs on it.
Floyd’s death last year ignited Black Lives Matter protests across the globe.
Campus officials said the provocative flier that was found affixed to a Black History Month bulletin board in East Campus this month may be a violation of the school’s policy against discrimination and harassment.
The disparaging comments about what appeared to be Floyd’s autopsy were found by a first-year student on March 20, campus officials said in a statement.
CNN last week reported that the flier implied that Floyd’s death was attributed to his ingestion of illegal drugs. The cable news outlet reported that the “apparent printout” of Floyd’s toxicology report was accompanied by handwritten comments scrawled in pink pin. The message said, “Mix of drugs presents in difficulty breathing! Overdose? Good Man? Use of fake currency is a felony!”
Floyd’s death last May was preceded by Minneapolis police officers arriving at a store where he had allegedly tried to use a counterfeit $20 bill. Floyd died after police officers pinned him down and knelt on his neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds.
In addition to massive protests and greater calls for police reform, Floyd’s character was questioned.
An independent autopsy found that he died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure from the officers kneeling on his neck and back,” CNN reports.
Campus officials said in a statement that the university’s Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards along with the Office for Institutional Equity “are currently investigating this incident to determine if more can be learned about the circumstances surrounding this event.”
University officials said the school “will issue sanctions” if Duke students are responsible for posting the provocative flier.
“Any incident that is motivated in whole or part by an individual’s race, warrants ‘acceleration’ or elevation of sanctioning due to the impact on the community,” the statement read.
Campus officials said the school will not make public specific sanctions, but it will report “aggregate conduct outcomes.”
“If the investigation does not identify a responsible student, we will inform the community of that outcome on or before April 15 as part of our monthly conduct update,” according to the statement. “We are also working closely with our Campus Life departments to provide direct outreach to Black-identified students.”
The investigation was launched in response to a recommendation by a “Summer 2020 Hate and Bias Working Group to provide more transparency to the student community in cases of anonymous acts of bias,” officials said.
Follow Durham Staff Writer Thomasi McDonald on Twitter or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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