June 10, 2016

Maker of Racist Video Identified, Vandalism Suspects Still Sought

Detectives of the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Department of Public Safety, in coordination with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Jackson County State’s Attorney’s Office, have identified the maker of a video that advocated racial violence on campus.

The viral video was posted on social media near the end of the spring semester and removed following a request from the university. None of the actions promoted in the video occurred.

The individual, a 19-year-old white male who resides in the Chicago region, admitted making the video as a prank. He is not affiliated with the university or associated with any of the groups or organizations active in protests at the end of the semester. In addition, police have found no evidence of involvement of the fraternity allegedly involved in the making of the video.

Police identified the individual through evidence related to the production and distribution of the video. The case was referred to the Jackson County State’s Attorney, who has declined to prosecute, noting that the video could be considered protected speech.

Interim SIU Chancellor Brad Colwell said he was “pleased that thorough investigative work by SIU Department of Public Safety led to the individual who made the video.”

“This person is not a member of our community yet made a video that caused great turmoil and incited fear on our campus,” he added. “While we acknowledge the decision not to file charges, identifying the individual is an important step forward.”

The Department of Public Safety continues to seek the community’s help resolving another end-of-semester incident related to vandalism and damage of state property in and around Faner Hall on campus. While a number of persons of interest have been questioned, police are asking members of the community’s help in identifying additional suspects based on video evidence.

Anyone with information about these incidents is encouraged to contact SIU Carbondale police at 618-453-3771 or Carbondale Crime Stoppers at 618-549-2677.