Mizzou Student Arrested After Online Threats Were Made

'[I'll] shoot every black person I see.'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 11, 2015 12:03 PM CST

Racial tensions remain high at the University of Missouri in a week rife with strife, and campus police brought in Hunter M. Park, 19, early Wednesday on suspicion of making a terror threat on Yik Yak and other social media the night before, the Columbia Daily Tribune reports. An MUPD release says Park is not a student at the Columbia campus, but the Tribune notes that a Hunter Michael Park is listed in the online directory for the Missouri University of Science & Technology, which is part of the MU system. Although the police aren't releasing many details, screenshots from Twitter posted by the Riverfront Times show the Yik Yak posts, with one noting, "Some of you are alright. Don't go to campus tomorrow." Another was much darker: "I'm going to stand my ground tomorrow and shoot every black person I see."

The threats—which led to increased security and the evacuation of the school's culture center Tuesday night, per the Tribune—were especially troubling partly due to the medium. As explained by the Washington Post, the Yik Yak messaging app is an anonymous, location-based network—which means that while users near a certain school's network "don't have to be a student to post, or to read the messages … they do have to be geographically close," per the Times. But a university alert posted online Wednesday notes the suspect "was not located on or near the MU campus at the time of the threat." Mizzou cops say they contacted Park in Rolla (about 90 miles away from the Columbia campus) and brought him to Columbia, where he was arrested, the Times notes. He's now being held in the Boone County Jail on a $4,500 bond, per the Tribune. "I'm afraid for my peers," one student tells the paper. "This shouldn't be happening—it's 2015." (Read more University of Missouri stories.)

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