MU Police have a suspect in the graffiti discovered June 21 near the Thomas Jefferson statue on Francis Quadrangle on the MU campus.

MU student Ian Laird, 20, faces a count of second-degree property damage, a misdemeanor, MU Police said in a Tuesday news release. 

As reported previously by the Missourian, a photo of the graffiti in question was posted on Twitter. In red spray paint, it read, "SAY HER NAME SALLY HEMINGS," and appeared two weeks after UM System President/Interim Chancellor Mun Choi and the UM System Board of Curators decided to keep the Jefferson statue. Student activists have been outspoken about MU removing the statue because of Jefferson's history as a slave owner.

Sally Hemings was an enslaved woman whom Jefferson raped. She bore several of his children.

According to a news release from the MU Police Department, no further information was available about the arrest and the case was referred to the Boone County Prosecutor's Office and the MU Office of Student Accountability and Support.

The suspect is a student in the School of Journalism and has written for Vox and the Missourian.

  • General Assignment reporter, summer 2020. Studying arts and culture journalism. Contact me at

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