• Black Mizzou students alleged that a drunken white female student insulted them with racial slurs near the Delta Upsilon Fraternity house.
• The black students also said members of the predominantly white fraternity hurled racial slurs at them.
• Police arrived during the shouting match that followed but made no arrests.
• Police said in their report that they heard black students shouting “fucking cracker” and “fucking redneck.”
• Police received several reports of racial slurs coming from the fraternity, though police did not hear any themselves.
By the time University of Missouri police arrived at the Delta Upsilon fraternity, following up on allegations of a racial slur targeting black students, the situation had devolved into a tense shouting match, according to police records obtained exclusively by Heat Street.
(See full records at the end of this article.)
Arriving well into the confrontation, police said they did not hear any racial slurs used. They reported seeing fraternity members shouting, and they interviewed witnesses who claimed a drunk, white female passerby and fraternity members had used the N-word.
Police also reported that at least one student from Mizzou’s Legion of Black Collegian trespassed on fraternity property, and that black students were yelling threats and slurs at the fraternity members.
“While trying to keep the [fraternity members and black students] apart, people inside the Delta Upsilon house began shouting out of the windows, which further angered several people in the crowd,” wrote officer Jacob Clifford in a police report.
“I was not able to discern what was being said by those in the house, but members of the Legion of Black Collegians reported that the people in the house were taunting them, laughing and pointing, told them to ‘fuck off’ and ‘go home’ and at one point, placed a speaker facing out of a window and played loud rap music. Several members of the Legion of Black Collegians believed they played rap music to mock them. While I did not hear any racial slurs used, several people reported hearing them,” Clifford said.
One fraternity member told police he had played the hip-hop artist Future, also claiming that a black woman on the street had yelled at him, “Get down here so I can beat your cracker ass.”
Cliff wrote, “I heard someone outside on the sidewalk shout something similar to, ‘Keep talking, we’ll burn this motherfucker down.’”
Officer Rodney Stewart wrote, “From the crowd on the sidewalk, I also heard, ‘fucking crackers’ and ‘fucking rednecks’ being shouted toward [redacted]. I also heard comments referencing the police not talking to the black population, only shooting them.”
He also said one woman at the scene, whose name is redacted, “began shouting demands toward [Officer Jake Clifford]… and stated to PO Clifford, ‘If you all don’t get it together, I will set this school on fire. Do you understand me?’”
According to the reports, the police told the black students they considered the white students’ alleged slurs as “hate speech” but not necessarily a “hate crime.” The incident will likely be handled by the Mizzou administration, and police requested the reports be forwarded to Mizzou’s Greek Life council, the Office of Student Conduct, and the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX.
On Wednesday, the Delta Upsilon fraternity was placed on temporary suspension by the University administration and its national fraternity organization. By deadline, the fraternity’s president had not responded to Heat Street’s request for comment. The Mizzou Panhellenic Association issued a statement condemning the incident and claiming that black students “were targeted by students in the Greek Community.”
On Wednesday afternoon, around 50 students protested, and in the evening, the Legion of Black Collegians held a packed town hall. LBC has tweeted that they are not giving interviews, and a local reporter said that the town hall was closed to the media.
In a statement Wednesday, Mizzou’s interim chancellor, Hank Foley, said: “We have zero tolerance for actions like this; if any student is found in violation of the Student Code and/or the University’s nondiscrimination policies, they will be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension and/or expulsion.”
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.