A Black History Month display featuring George Floyd at Duke University was vandalized with a printout of his toxicology report on Saturday (March 20). The flier insinuated that Floyd’s death was because of drugs and included a handwritten message in pink ink that read, “Mix of drugs presents in difficulty breathing! Overdose? Good Man? Use of fake currency is a felony!”
Duke University is now launching an investigation into what they are calling “an act of bias.” Matt Mohn, a first-year student at the university, told CNN that once he found the flier, he notified his resident advisor. The report was immediately removed.
“All of a sudden, someone comes up and is essentially sticking a thumb in the face of every Black person, saying his life didn’t matter, that he wasn’t a good person, because of one $20 bill,” Mohn said. “I was just really, really surprised by it, that someone would put that much effort into trying to strip someone of their humanity for no reason.”
Michael Manns, a Black first-year student at Duke, said he didn't see the report in person, but saw a photo of the flier. “I was honestly terrified; I remember shaking in that moment,” Manns told the outlet. “That happened right down the hall from where I sleep, from where I’m supposed to be safe.”
“The thought that it could be someone I’ve lived with all these months really terrified me,” he said.
On Tuesday (March 23), school officials sent a letter to the student body stating that university police, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards and the Office for Institutional Equity are investigating the incident.
“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(s),” Jeanna McCullers, the senior associate dean, and John Blackshear, the dean of students, wrote. “This communication follows the recommendation of the Summer 2020 Hate and Bias Working Group to provide more transparency to the student community in cases of anonymous acts of bias.”