Duke University has launched an investigation to find out how a flier of George Floyd’s toxicology report was attached to a Black History Month bulletin board.
In a letter to all students the University said the incident happened on March 20. A passerby, 19-year-old freshman Matt Mohn, found a printout of the report with a hand-written note saying, “Mix of drugs presents in difficulty breathing! Overdose? Good man? Use of fake currency is a felony!” It was taped on a hallway bulletin board honoring Black victims who died because of police brutality, including Philando Castile and Breonna Taylor, the Washington Post reported.
Mohn said he was shocked, calling the incident a “racist” attack, as first reported by Duke’s student paper The Duke Chronicle.
“I was really incredulous that someone would actually go to the effort of finding the report in its original form,” Mohn said. “It seemed almost more audacious than just writing a slur or putting up something more overtly hateful.”
In wake of the posting, school administrators and campus police are investigating the incident as a possible violation of the school’s anti-harassment and discrimination policy, school administrators announced in an email to students this week. The school referred to the note as an “anonymous act of bias.”
“If Duke students are found to be responsible for this act, the Office of Conduct and Community Standards (OSCCS) will issue sanctions to the responsible student,” Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students John Blackshear and OSCCS Senior Associate Dean and Director Jeanna McCullers said in the email.
Floyd, a Minneapolis, Minnesota resident, was killed while in police custody on May 25. His death occurred when officer Derek Chauvin pinned him under his knee for over eight minutes as Floyd suffocated. The incident set off a firestorm across the country with civil rights leaders and citizens demanding justice.
The Hennepin County Medical Examiner determined Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” An independent autopsy found that Floyd was killed by asphyxia due to compression of the neck and back. A contradiction from the official one performed a week after his death.
According to the Insider, “This is not the first time Duke has had a incident related to racial bias. In 2015, a student admitted to hanging a noose from a tree near a student union. In 2019, a professor asked Chinese graduate students to speak English while they are in school buildings.”