Last fall and in the spring, the otherwise quiet campus of Eastern Michigan University was hit by three ugly incidents of vandalism targeting blacks that rocked the community.
The first came in September, when “KKK” was sprayed in red, white and blue paint on the wall of a dormitory, along with a threatening racial slur telling blacks to “leave” the school in Ypsilanti, about 11 miles southeast of Ann Arbor.
Then, on Halloween, the same ominous hate message using the n-word and ordering blacks to leave showed up on another building, this one right next to the campus’s monument to Martin Luther King.
In the spring, a third racist message was left in a men’s restroom stall.
Coming as other campuses were being hit by similar acts of what appeared to be hate vandalism, the incidents sparked protests and made national news.
On Tuesday, the university was shaken again when police announced that a 29-year-old black man, a former student, had been charged with all three crimes.
The suspect was identified as Eddie Curlin, a student at the school from 2014 to 2016, currently serving a one-to-five year sentence on an unrelated charge of receiving and concealing stolen property, according to a university statement.
Curlin was arraigned in Washtenaw County District Court on charges of malicious destruction of property, identity theft and using computers to commit a crime. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 9.
(c) 2017, The Washington Post · Fred Barbash