Race-Related Arson on the Campus of the University of La Verne in California

Threats were made on social media against Black and Hispanic students at the University of La Verne in California. A photo was posted of university students who were protesting against racism. The caption read, “Every single one in this photo will get what’ coming to them. If you don’t stop with your little protests, understand that something will happen to you.”

The posts also contained racial slurs directed at Black and Hispanic students. The person who posted the comments on a fraternity social media account also wrote that he knew where the students lived and what cars they drove.

The next day a backpack was found burning inside the car of one of the students who was in the photograph of protesting students. The student’s car also appeared to have been keyed. Police labeled the crime, arson.

The university called off classes on the afternoon of March 7 to conduct workshops and training on diversity, equity, and inclusivity for the entire campus community. The university issued a statement that read in part: “The hateful actions are despicable and the incident is an affront to our values as a university. This is a critical moment for us to stand up for justice and declare that no one in our community will tolerate this type of behavior on our campuses.”

Hispanics make up more than half of the undergraduate student body at the University of La Verne. African Americans are 8 percent of undergraduate students.

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