Three sought for University of Mississippi statue noose

A flower rests at the foot of the James Meredith statue as students make signs during protest at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi, on 18 February 2014 The incident has sparked student protests on the University of Mississippi campus

University of Mississippi officials aim to question three white students suspected of draping a noose over a statue celebrating desegregation.

The noose was placed on a statue of James Meredith, an African-American student who braved segregationist mobs in 1962, police say.

Lawyers for the three male 19-year-old freshmen have not yet allowed their questioning.

The incident on Sunday has prompted student-led protests.

"The University Police Department had gathered enough evidence by late Wednesday to bring charges through the student judicial process against two of the students, and both state and federal authorities were working in close co-ordination to determine whether criminal charges were applicable," the university said in a statement.

'Racial slurs'

The three students' lawyers have asked campus police to serve arrest warrants before allowing their clients to be questioned, university chief of police Calvin Sellers told US media.

The three students failed to appear at a pre-arranged meeting on Thursday, Mr Sellers added.

The university chief of police said a construction worker had seen two of the men wrapping the statue in an old Georgia state flag bearing the Confederate logo, and heard them shout racial slurs.

The university's Alpha Chapter fraternity voted to expel all three men and turn over their identities to investigators.

The university's alumni association offered a $25,000 (£15,046) reward for leads following the incident, which occurred during Black History Month.

The university campus was the scene of race riots in 1962, when hundreds of protesters decried the admission of Mr Meredith, the school's first black student.

Two men died and dozens were wounded.

The university was the scene of another race row in 2012, when a group of students yelled racial slurs during a protest following President Barack Obama's re-election.

More on This Story

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More US & Canada stories


Features & Analysis

Elsewhere on the BBC


  • Kinetic sculpture violinClick Watch

    The "kinetic sculpture" that can replicate digital files and play them on a violin

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.