Police at Kansas State University have verified that a student on campus falsely reported a potential hate crime. A student reported on November 5 that he found a note scrawled with racist epithets posted on his door. Student Brodrick Keith Burse III claimed on Twitter that he returned to his apartment to find the objectionable note posted outside his door. The tweets have since been deleted. In a tweet that included a photo of the door and the note, Burse wrote: “[I]t’s 2018 and this was posted on my apartment door,” and went on to claim, “[T]his is still happening here at @KState so if [sic] isn’t as evident as it already was everyone needs to get out and vote I refuse to let this blatant racism stop me from moving onward and upward.” The tweet was published on the day before Election Day. Burse is an African-American.

The note read, “Beware N*****S Live Here!!! Knock at your own risk.”

In view of the purported racist incident, Kansas State Housing and Dining Services tweeted: “K-State HDS does not and will never tolerate racism in its communities. The matter will be investigated.” KSU campus police investigated the not and its circumstances, and later used Facebook to announce their findings on November 8. “The Kansas State University Police Department has concluded its investigation into a note using a racial slur posted on a door in the Jardine Apartment Complex,” said the Facebook post. “On Monday, Nov. 5, K-State Police received a report of the note. Upon questioning, the person who reported the incident admitted to creating and posting the note to their own door.”

KSU police added, “The matter will be addressed in accordance with applicable disciplinary procedures.” In its missive, the police department did not identify Burse nor any disciplinary action he may face. Over the last two years, this is the second such hoax crime reported on the KSU campus. A person previously accused of such a hoax has not received any punishment. 

In 2016, Dauntarius Williams wrote the word “n****r” repeatedly all over his car. After claiming he had been the victim of racism, he later admitted that “a Halloween prank that got out of hand” led him to make the false claim. He faced no academic disciplinary action for the hoax. However, KSU police “stepped up patrols” to monitor so-called hate crimes. In addition, KSU created two campus “diversity” positions to respond to allegations of racism, and also built a diversity center. Before Williams admitted the hoax, the Kansas State Black Student Union demanded an investigation. Riley County police decided not to press charges.  Williams is an African-American.

In a similar case, the FBI joined Michigan State Police, local law enforcement, and academic officials to investigate purported racist graffiti that was scrawled on campus property of Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. Reports of the racist messages prompted protests and candlelight vigils to repudiate the hateful graffitti. This results in more than 1000 man hours of security expended by the publicly funded institution. In the end, however, investigators determined that Eddie Curlin, 29, an African-American former student was responsible. In his case, Curlin was arrested and charged with multiple crimes.  He was arraigned in Washtenaw County District Court, just a week before the 2016 presidential election, and eventually charged in early 2017 with malicious destruction of property, identity theft, and using computers to commit a crime.
 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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