The vandalism of a car near the Kansas State University campus is being investigated as a possible hate crime by the FBI.
And university police are increasing patrols on the Manhattan campus.
On Wednesday at 7:25 a.m., Riley County police were contacted about a car parked in an off-campus apartment lot in the 2220 block of Claflin Road that had been defaced.
“Go Home Nigger Boy” had been painted in yellow across the rear windshield and other expletives and threats were painted along the car’s side doors.
According to a police report the car was vandalized sometime between 1:30 a.m. and 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Police began an investigation and filed a report for criminal threat, listing Dauntarius Williams, 21, of Manhattan as the victim.
K-State President Richard B. Myers, in a statement released Thursday afternoon, said the racist messages, “are a direct attack on the values of our community.”
He said, “Those who wish us harm should not be allowed to create a culture of fear and divisiveness... We need to ensure the safety of those affected by this attack.”
A complete audit of security cameras on the Manhattan campus is being done with a plan to improve their coverage.
Myers also called on the Riley County Police Department “to use all available resources in its criminal investigation, including any necessary state and federal resources,” to get to the bottom of who vandalized the car and for what reason.
He asked the campus community to refrain from spreading rumors about the incident on social media.
“There has already been widespread misinformation about this incident; we need to make decisions based on factual information, not rumors, unsubstantiated social media posts or stories,” Myers said. “Let’s get it right.”
Conversations about the incident exploded on social media with African American students at K-State complaining that racial incidents were becoming more common around the campus. Earlier this year a noose was found hanging from a tree in the center of campus. Police said that case was never investigated as a crime, no suspects were found and it is not an active case.
Original reports on social media about Wednesday’s incident were that the car belonged to a K-State student.
After The Star located Williams on Facebook and contacted him, he called The Star. Williams said his car had indeed been defaced and that he had been a K-State student until Wednesday morning, when he withdrew from school. He said was returning home to California.
K-State officials have said they could not confirm that Williams is a student.
“We have no record of the student named Dauntarius Williams at K-State,” K-State spokesman Jeff Morris said in an email to The Star Thursday evening. “We have been careful to release information based on the facts, and cannot find any current or past student with that name in our system,” Morris said
He referred all future inquiries to the FBI in Kansas City.