The Washington Post

Ole Miss police seek to question three students in noose case

The James Meredith statue on the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford, Miss., this week. (Thomas Graning/The Daily Mississippian via AP)

Three white freshmen at the University of Mississippi are being sought for questioning in the racially-charged vandalism of the school’s James Meredith statue, according to the university.

A noose and a Georgia flag from before 2003 (the year the state flag stopped including a Confederate battle flag) were discovered on the statue Sunday morning. Authorities had said they were looking for two men seen in the area and shouting racial slurs, but added that the third man’s name was also prominent in the investigation.

The statue of Meredith, the school’s first black student, stands at the heart of the Ole Miss campus. It is the “most visible symbol of unity” on the school’s grounds, Dan Jones, the university’s chancellor, said in a statement earlier this week.

All three students are 19-year-old freshmen from Georgia, the school said. They were supposed to meet with the university police Thursday morning but did not show up, according to the school. On Thursday night, they declined through their attorneys to speak with university police without an arrest warrant.

Ole Miss said it could not release the names of the students unless charges are filed. In the statement, the university’s chief of police and general counsel said they believe there is sufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against the suspects.

A reward of $25,000 offered by the school’s alumni association was “instrumental in bringing quick results,” according to the school.

The Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity issued a statement Friday afternoon announcing that the three men were members of that organization’s Ole Miss chapter. The chapter voted to expel the three men, while the national fraternity said it had indefinitely suspended the Ole Miss chapter.

Mark Berman covers national news for The Washington Post and anchors Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.