WASHINGTON - American University says a white supremacist posted a threat online targeting the university's student government president.
In a statement issued Friday, the university said the post targeting Taylor Dumpson was discovered Thursday night by the Anti-Defamation League, and law enforcement was sent to her home to provide additional security for her and her family. The university notified students and staff about the threat to Dumpson on Friday.
“Earlier this week, the threats were on campus. They continue online. American University will not allow any member of our community to be intimidated,” said Teresa Flannery, AU’s Vice President for Communications said. “We are working closely with Taylor to ensure her security and to support her throughout this process.”
A safety advisory was also issued offering students safety tips for how to handle cyber harassment. American University police are monitoring the situation.
News of the threat comes in the same week that bananas with strings shaped liked nooses tied around them were found at several locations at the university. The bananas were marked with the letters “AKA,” targeting the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, whose members are predominantly African American. They also included the words "Harambe bait," in reference to the gorilla that was shot and killed after a child fell into its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo.
Dumpson is a member of the sorority, and the incident took place on her first day as American University Student Government President.
On Thursday, the FBI said it is assisting in the hate-crime investigation. Some members of Congress who are also AKA members, including Texas Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, have called for federal civil rights investigations.
AU police released video showing a suspect hanging the bananas between 3:45 and 4:15 am on Monday morning. a reward of $1,000 is offered for information leading to the identification of the suspect. Anyone with information is asked to call police at (202) 885-2527 or http://www.american.edu/finance/publicsafety/tips.cfm
This isn't the first time there has been a racial incident on campus involving bananas. Last September, a banana was thrown at a black student who was among a group from the Black Student Alliance preparing for a demonstration. There was also a report of a banana being placed near another black female student's door.
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