Hampton University Trustee House. Credit: confirmed to Portsmouth, Va., local station WAVY that the nine officers of Hampton University Police Department were fired for alleged “egregious violations of the university’s code of conduct.”
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While a statement from the police department has yet to be released, WAVY obtained a copy of the termination letter that was distributed to the officers. In the letter, Deputy Chief of Hampton University Police, Ronald Davis, said that a select group of officials and supervisors of the department participated in a distasteful, third annual social event referred to as “Meme Wars.”
“The ‘Meme Wars’ is described as a jovial release of photographs and captions designed to levy insults at others in the group as well as persons outside the group,” Davis wrote in the letter. “During the investigation, you confirmed that you were aware of the meme wars and you willingly participated…. as a result of your actions, I am recommending your immediate termination.”
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While the private university has yet to offer any detail on the nature of the posts, the school released a statement to USA Today, saying, “After a full investigation, it was determined that the officers shared misogynistic, racist and other offensive remarks via social media.” They also added that the institution has a “zero tolerance for such behavior.”
Hampton University is ranked as one of the top historically black universities in the United States, and currently boasts a student body of more than 4,000 students.