OXFORD, Miss.- Over a year after a noose was hung around the statue of James Meredith on the Ole Miss campus, a student has been charged with federal civil rights crimes. Graeme Phillip Harris was indicted by a federal grand jury on one count of conspiracy to violate civil rights and one count of using a threat of force to intimidate African American students because of their race or color.
Harris, along with others, allegedly hung a rope and an outdated version of the Georgia state flag (which depicts the confederacy) around the neck of the statue of James Meredith. Meredith was the first student to integrate the university in 1962.
“This shameful and ignorant act is an insult to all Americans and a violation of our most strongly-held values,” Attorney General Eric Holder said. “No one should ever be made to feel threatened or intimidated because of what they look like or who they are. By taking appropriate action to hold wrongdoers accountable, the Department of Justice is sending a clear message that flagrant infringements of our historic civil rights will not go unnoticed or unpunished.”
The investigation is ongoing.