Noose Tied Around Statue Honoring Integration at Ole Miss

OleMiss

Police at the University of Mississppi are investigating the individuals involved in a vandalism incident in which a noose was tied around the neck of a James Meredith statue, the first black student to enroll at Ole Miss, along with a “pre-2003 Georgia state flag” that contains the Confederate symbol.

“We are investigating the incident and will continue to work to catch those responsible,” UPD Police Chief Calvin Sellers said.

Officers responded to the call Sunday at 7:09 a.m. after a contractor from an insulation company saw the vandalism and two individuals leaving the scene who police believe are responsible for the crime. 

“I came up on a couple younger-looking boys by the loading dock that were yelling ‘white power’ and ‘f— n—–s’ on my way back over towards the statue,” Mark McMillan said. “When I rounded the corner of (the George Street House), I noticed the rope and the flag, and it definitely showed the Confederate flag.”

The University Police Department is checking video surveillance footage around the area, but there are no suspects as of now.

The act is hard going unnoticed, as the FBI is also investigating the matter as a federal hate crime, according to the school.

“These individuals chose our university’s most visible symbol of unity and educational accessibility to express their disagreement with our values,” School Chancellor Dan Jones said in a statement. “Their ideas have no place here, and our response will be an even greater commitment to promoting the values that are engraved on the statue—Courage, Knowledge, Opportunity, and Perseverance.”

A bronze James Meredith statue is part of a civil rights monument in the center of campus. Dedicated Oct. 1, 2006, the statue honors Meredith for becoming the first black student at the university in 1962.

The Ole Miss Alumni Association is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Anyone with information concerning the investigation is urged to contact the University Police Department at 662-915-7234.