Another hate hoax, this time at Goucher College in Maryland

An arrest was made Friday in a pair of hate graffiti incidents at Goucher College in Maryland. Once again, this turned out to be a hoax as the person arrested for the racist, anti-black graffiti turns out to be one of the black students living in the building. From the Baltimore Sun:

Fynn Ajani Arthur, a 21-year-old from Brunswick, Maine, was arrested at about 6 p.m. on the Towson campus Thursday and charged with two counts of malicious destruction of property, Baltimore County police said…

The graffiti found Thursday included swastikas and “KKK,” and appeared to include the last names of four black students, including Arthur, who is also black, according to police.

The first incident happened on November 14th when graffiti that included, “a swastika, a slur and threats to African-Americans” was found inside a bathroom shared by three dorm rooms occupied by black students. Also included were specific dorm room numbers belonging to those black students. CBS Baltimore reported that Goucher College immediately released a statement condemning the incident:

Goucher College strongly condemns all bigotry and racism, which are in complete opposition to our values and mission. We will absolutely not tolerate such abhorrent acts of hate, which threaten the well-being and safety of our community members.

Two days later, students held a rally against the graffiti and revealed that it had contained death threats seemingly aimed at the students living in those specific dorm rooms:

The second incident took place on Thursday, November 29. In that incident, more graffiti was found in another bathroom in the same building. This time it contained the acronym “KKK” and listed the names of specific black students living in the dorm. As mentioned above, one of those names was “Arthur,” i.e. the man responsible targeted himself.

According to this local news report, Arthur claimed he wrote the first graffiti because he had “a lot of built up anger.” His parents and students that knew him say they’re surprised by his behavior. He has been banned from campus and will be ejected from the school after some sort of campus judicial process takes place. He has already confessed to both incidents so some sort of conviction for destruction of property seems inevitable. However, the Baltimore Sun points out that there’s no hate crime statute in Maryland. Evidence of bias is simply used to help prosecutors decide how to proceed. In the case, since the hate part of the crime wasn’t in earnest, I suspect it won’t play a big role here.

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