Duke University investigating after toxicology report pinned to George Floyd memorial
A student discovered the report and a handwritten note alluding to Floyd causing his own death
An investigation has been launched after someone attached George Floyd’s toxicology report to his photo at a Duke University dorm.
A student discovered the report and a handwritten note alluding to Floyd causing his own death. The school is now investigating, per The Washington Post.
“Any incident that is motivated in whole or part by an individual’s race, warrants acceleration or elevation of sanctioning due to the impact on the community,” per an email Duke sent out Tuesday, which stated the investigation results will be released by April 15.
The document was attached to a Black History Month bulletin board. Matt Mohn, a freshman at the private university, found the report and a handwritten note stating:
“Mix of drugs presents in difficulty breathing! Overdose? Good man? Use of fake currency is a felony!” the note, written in pink ink, said.
Mohn, 19, couldn’t believe what he was reading.
“I was really incredulous that someone would actually go to the effort of finding the report in its original form,” said Mohn. “It seemed almost more audacious than just writing a slur or putting up something more overtly hateful.”
“The entire message was that he was responsible for his own demise,” added Mohn. “That because he tested positive for drugs or because he had one $20 bill that was counterfeit that he deserved to be executed. I think it was racist in a way that absolved the white police officer that had been kneeling on him.”
He took a photo of the documents that were alongside a tribute to people like Philando Castile and Breonna Taylor who died due to police brutality and sent it to his building’s group chat. A resident assistant responded by removing the report from the board.
The document is a possible violation of the school’s school’s anti-harassment and discrimination policy.
“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,” said OSCCS senior associate dean and director Jeanna McCuller and associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students John Blackshear, per an email. But due to student privacy laws, according to the Post, the student or students responsible will not be publicly identified.
Worldwide protests erupted as a result of Floyd’s death. He was pronounced dead after a former Minneapolis police officer held his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes last June. Floyd’s family was awarded $27M in a wrongful death settlement by the city of Minneapolis, one of the largest awards ever granted in a civil lawsuit of that kind.
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