US Naval Academy withdraws appointment over racist messages

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The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis withdrew the appointment of an incoming member of the Class of 2024 after an investigation into racist and inappropriate remarks, an academy official said Monday.

The academy's Character Review Committee recommended withdrawing the student's appointment after a thorough evaluation of the information surrounding “the racist and inappropriate remarks," said Bruce Latta, the academy's dean of admissions. Latta said he approved the committee's decision, and Vice Adm. Sean Buck, the academy's superintendent, also agreed with it.

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“The Naval Academy does not condone racism or bigotry of any kind within the U.S. Naval Academy family, as it completely violates our Navy’s core values, and does not support the U.S. Naval Academy mission,” Latta said in a statement.

Cmdr. Alana Garas, a spokeswoman for the academy, said the academy is not identifying the student, and declined to elaborate on details about the comments.

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The Capital Gazette reported last week that the recent high school graduate from Maryland sent messages in 2018 on a chat platform. The messages included threats of sexual violence, a transphobic statement, a racist epithet and threats of gun violence in a school. The messages were later shared on Twitter.

Separately, the academy also is investigating comments allegedly made on Twitter by a senior at the academy. The tweets including comments relating to protests following the death of George Floyd in Minnesota.

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Earlier this month, a Naval Academy Alumni Association Board of Trustees member resigned from his position after an accidental Facebook Live video broadcast him and his wife making racist comments and using racial slurs while talking about the Black Lives Matter movement.