COLUMBIA — The MU student arrested in connection with racist graffiti outside a campus dormitory told a police officer he was drunk at the time and didn't remember what he did.
In a probable cause statement, MU Police Sgt. Shawn Spalding wrote that the suspect, Benjamin Elliott, was seen by surveillance cameras spray-painting both the sidewalk and sculpture.
After checking Elliott's key card to determine when he entered his residence at Hatch Hall, the freshman was identified as the suspect by a Hatch Hall coordinator, according to the statement.
The probable cause statement reported that Elliott was alone during the time of the vandalism. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree property damage, according to an MU Police news release. According to section 557.035 of the Missouri Revised Statutes, the penalties of a crime may be enhanced if it is found to be motivated by race.
The Legion of Black Collegians, MU's black student government, will discuss the racist graffiti on Wednesday during its Senate meeting. The group has invited presidents from various campus organizations to brainstorm ideas to help bring more diversity to MU's campus, Vice President Cidney King said.
MU Assistant Deputy Chancellor for Diversity Roger Worthington may be in attendance, Lisa White, president of the Legion of Black Collegians, said.
In reaction to an incident last year in which two MU students scattered cotton balls outside the Black Culture Center, the Legion of Black Collegians held a town hall meeting where some students advocated for adding a diversity class to graduation requirements.
White said her organization would like an update on efforts the campus has made to add such a class. The meeting on Wednesday will not be open to the public, but discussion from the meeting will be posted at http://lbc.missouri.edu.