Despite the fact that Riley County, Kan., police opted not to charge a black man who admitted to tagging his own car with horrifying, racist graffiti and sparking tensions across the community, the Kansas State University Black Student Union is not at all pleased and is demanding that the perpetrator face charges.
Earlier this week, the police released a statement saying that they would not file charges against 21-year-old Dauntarius Williams—who admitted that he was responsible for his car’s vandalism—for filing a false report. Riley County Police said that it would “not be in the best interests” of the community, adding that Williams was “genuinely remorseful and expressed sincere regret.”
Williams, for his part, referred to the incident as a “Halloween prank that got out of hand.” His car, which was parked in an apartment complex near Kansas State’s campus in Manhattan, Kan., was covered in yellow washable paint with slurs like “Go Home Nigger Boy,” “Fuck You Die Dumb Nigger” and “Date Your Own Kind.”
However, leaders of the Black Student Union at the university were not impressed with the leniency shown by officers in this case.
“The K-State Black Student Union is disheartened that no charges were filed by the Riley County Police Department,” the organization said in a press release. “The fact that an African-American man committed this act should not undermine its effect on K-State students. The conduct of Williams does not negate the current racist and discriminatory actions that continue on campus, community, the state and nation.”
“No matter who wrote the despicable and hateful speech, we, the K-State Black Student Union, will never stand for hate or threatening speech. We urge the Riley County Police Department to strongly reconsider pressing charges,” the statement read.
Clearly, incidents like this, in which a person of color is caught faking a potential hate crime—“prank” or no—only adds fuel to the already blazing fire of racial tensions in the country. It also only serves as a distraction, and bolsters the harmful talking points of white supremacists or others who do not believe that racism is still a living thing in this country.
The Black Student Union at Kansas State is clearly taking a hard stance on this extremely complex issue that raises equally complex feelings.