ECU Black Student Union reacts to racist graffiti arrests

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – A day after East Carolina University Police announced the arrest of two teenagers, some students say their punishment isn’t harsh enough.

On Thursday, 18-year-olds Jack Ramsey and Anthony Madonio were arrested for writing graffiti targeting black students in an ECU dorm. The teens were charged with misdemeanor damage of personal property.

Jack Ramsey and Anthony Madonio (WITN)
Jack Ramsey and Anthony Madonio (WITN)

The Black Student Union at ECU believes it’s not enough.

“I used to live in Jones Residence Hall,” said Black Student Union member Nichole Currie. “If I was to walk down one morning and see that, I would kind of be frightened.”

Police say Ramsey and Madonio wrote the words “White Power” and “KKK” in a Jones Residence Hall stairwell while visiting a friend. Another message showed a profane remark directed toward African-Americans.

The FBI concluded the graffiti did not target a specific person, thus, was not a hate crime or ethnic intimidation.

Some don’t agree.

“In my opinion, I thought they would’ve gotten more serious [punishment] as well. I don’t think that’s the right consequence for that,” says Black Student Union Chair Deandre Jacobs.

In light of the racist graffiti and the racially-fueled protest on the University of Missouri campus, the students have organized an event called #ECUStandsWithMizzou. It’s not a protest, but instead a symbol of standing in solidarity. It is Sunday at the Flanagan Building.

Students say they hope the graffiti and arrests in this case will spur a dialogue about race relations on campus.

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