DUKE University is currently investigating an incident after someone posted a copy of George Floyd’s toxicology report on a Black History Month display showing Black victims of police violence.
The report, which the school has deemed as an “act of bias,” was written on in a pink pen with the remarks reading: “Mix of drugs presents in difficulty breathing! Overdose? Good Man? Use of fake currency is a felony!”
The flier appeared this past Saturday at the Black History Month display, and the university is still investigating who may have put the flier up.
When police were called to a Minneapolis business for Floyd, who was accused of using a counterfeit $20 bill, Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
Following his death in May 2020, massive demonstrations sparked across the country in protest of police brutality.
An independent autopsy found that Floyd died of “asphyxiation from sustained pressure” after the officers kneeled on his back.
A first year at Duke, Matt Mohn, first noticed the flier on Saturday at noon, contacted his resident adviser, and said the flier was gone within half an hour.
“All of a sudden, someone comes up and is essentially sticking a thumb in the face of every Black person, saying his life didn’t matter, that he wasn’t a good person, because of one $20 bill,” Mohn said, calling the act “audacious.”
“I was just really really surprised by it, that someone would put that much effort into trying to strip someone of their humanity for no reason.”
Michaels Manns is another first year at Duke who didn’t see the flier firsthand but saw a photo of it circulating on social media.
“I was honestly terrified; I remember shaking in that moment,” Manns told CNN. “That happened right down the hall from where I sleep, from where I’m supposed to be safe.”
Manns questioned if someone he knew put up the flier, given their clear thoughts towards Floyd.
“The thought that it could be someone I’ve lived with all these months really terrified me.”
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School officials wrote a letter to the student body saying it was investigating the incident.
“If Duke students are found to be responsible for this act, the Office of Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS) will issue sanctions to the responsible student(s),” wrote John Blackshear, the dean of students and Jeanna McCullers, the senior associate dean, in the letter.
“This communication follows the recommendation of the Summer 2020 Hate and Bias Working Group to provide more transparency to the student community in cases of anonymous acts of bias.”