An Ole Miss frat is being questioned as having possibly racist students after a campus statue of the first black student allowed into the school was vandalized with a noose this week. Several students from the Alpha chapter of Sigmi Phi Epsilon are being accused of purposefully hanging a noose over the neck of the James Meredith statue, and have since been brought under official suspicion of the law. The Inquisitr reports this Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014, that the incident was only said to have been a harmless prank, but has since ignited a firestorm of controversy and anger among Mississippi school heads and the public at large.
Police authorities investigating the vandalism soon learned that Ole Miss frat members were likely responsible for the cruel and racist joke. Working with University of Mississippi law enforcement officers and school officials, police determined that 3 students were the leading suspects behind the prank that involved putting a noose over the statue of former black student James Meredith. A few days after the explosive incident, 3 Ole Miss freshmen were brought in for formal questioning. Their identities have not been disclosed at this time, though they are all described as males, age 19, and hailing from Georgia.
In addition to hanging a noose around the black statue, continues the report, the frat members are also charged with placing a Georgia flag that openly showcases the confederate symbol on the front end of the James Meredith honorary site. Since then, the FBI is now entering the heated case and the 3 young men accused of the wrongful vandalism have acquired legal defense and council.
Earlier this weekend, Sigmi Phi Epsilon leaders came together to formally suspend the entire Alpha chapter at Ole Miss pending the investigation. Suspicions of racist frat members is cited as a primary reason for the suspension, adds the press release. All of the freshman students involved in the incident have also been reportedly expelled from the fraternity without ability to reapply as well. At this time in the Ole Miss frat investigation, officials are determining whether any other students might have been in on the ignorant act of vandalism. They believe that such a finding could reveal a serious issue of racism being present at the University of Mississippi.
Notes Brian Warren Jr., the CEO of Sigmi Phi Epsilon, in an official statement on the noose being placed around the neck of such an iconic statue this week by frat members:
“It is embarrassing that these men had previously identified with our Fraternity. SigEp as a national Fraternity has championed racial equality and issues on diversity since 1959 when it became the first national fraternity to invite members of all races, creeds and religions to join its membership. For this to occur in 2014 is an insult to the legacy of James Meredith, The University of Mississippi community, and the SigEp alumni who fought for racial equality in the late 1950s.”