JACKSON, Miss. (AP, abc24.com) — A protest against the re-election of President Barack Obama got out of hand at the University of Mississippi, and officials say racial slurs were tossed in a crowd that grew to about 400 students after rumors spread that a riot had broken out.
Two arrests were reported but university officials say there were no injuries or property damage.
A university spokesman says the gathering began after midnight with 30 to 40 students protesting Obama's re-election but quickly grew. Rumors exploded on Twitter after student journalists posted a video calling the gathering a riot.
Chancellor Dan Jones on Wednesday condemned the disturbance, saying most students and faculty are "ashamed" of the actions of a few.
He said inaccurate comments and photos posted on social media sites don't match police observations.
Chancellor Jones' full statement:
Dear Ole Miss Family,
There are media reports of incidents on our campus last evening in the wake of the election results being announced. First, let me assure all of you that the campus is quiet and safe this morning for all of our students. While the investigation into last night’s events continues, we are grateful there are no reports of injuries or property damage.
The reports of the use of racial language by some have been confirmed by our campus police. The University leadership strongly condemns this kind of behavior and is embarrassed that any students associated with the university would use this kind of language. Our university creed calls for the respect of each individual and for fairness and civility. The investigation of this event will be thorough and individuals found in violation of any law will be referred to appropriate authorities. Individuals found in violation of university policy will be dealt with appropriately through the student conduct process.
As we have acknowledged throughout this year of recognizing fifty years of racial integration at our university, despite evidence of progress, we still live in an imperfect world. All of us in the university community must recommit ourselves to condemn hate and to continue our work to assure our university is a safe and welcoming place for every individual every day.
Daniel W. Jones, MD
The following video is from NewsWatch, a student-run news organization: