Missouri

University of Missouri police officer fired after blackface photo surfaces

University of Missouri faculty, students try to block media from covering protests

Students form a perimeter around the #ConcernedStudent1950 tent village and ask media to leave in November. Freelance photographer Tim Tai was firm in stating his First Amendment rights. Communications faculty member Melissa Click asks for 'muscle
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Students form a perimeter around the #ConcernedStudent1950 tent village and ask media to leave in November. Freelance photographer Tim Tai was firm in stating his First Amendment rights. Communications faculty member Melissa Click asks for 'muscle

The University of Missouri fired one of its campus police officers Tuesday after a photo surfaced of him in blackface.

MU Police Officer Marcus Collins was terminated immediately after university leaders verified that it was Collins in the photo, according to university officials.

Collins acknowledged he was the person in the picture but said it was taken before he started working as an officer on the Columbia campus in January 2018.

The photo, which had been posted on social media, was brought to the attention of university officials Tuesday morning.

“This type of behavior is not tolerated at Mizzou, and we understand how this impacts our entire community profoundly,” MU Chancellor Alexander N. Cartwright said in a statement.

“Racism, hate and insensitive behavior have no place on our campus. We are committed to our values of respect, responsibility, discovery and excellence, and to making our campus a place where everyone feels welcome and protected.”

Four years ago MU was in the national spotlight for black student-led protests that followed accusations of racism on the campus and led to the resignation of the University of Missouri System president and the chancellor.

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Mará has written on all things education for The Star for 20 years, including issues of school safety, teen suicide, universal pre-K programs, college costs, campus protests and university branding.


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