New Hampshire

Police Offer $1K Reward in UNH Hate Speech Investigation

Police with the University of New Hampshire are offering a reward as they continue to investigate a series of racist messages found on campus over the weekend.

College students at the University of New Hampshire demanded action from school officials after the "n-word" was found scrawled across a bulletin board in Williamson Hall on Sunday.

"I want to assure you that your police department is actively investigating several crimes that occurred on campus," UNH Police Chief Paul Dean said in a statement Tuesday.

The letter, addressed to members of the UNH community, listed anti-Semitic writings that damaged a wall in Stoke Hall Friday, a rock being thrown at a student of color while he was riding a bicycle Saturday, and the "racial hate language" found Sunday in Williamson Hall — which was left on what's called "the inclusion board" in front of a black residence hall director's office.

"These are prosecutable crimes which strike at the very fabric of our community, and the University Police Department is committed to holding those responsible accountable for their actions," Dean wrote. "We will exhaust all investigative leads to identify the person or persons involved in these crimes, and they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

These incidents are the latest instances of racial and cultural conflict at UNH. Earlier in the month, some argued that Cinco de Mayo celebrations featured cultural appropriation, as well as an alleged instance of blackface.

On Thursday evening, hundreds of students met with leaders at the college to address perceived failings on the administration's part to adequately address racist incidents and increase diversity among the student body and faculty.

On Friday, several swastikas were found drawn in the stairwell of a dormitory. 

In the wake of the swastikas, several plaster raised fists were placed outside on campus — some think to symbolize the spirit of students who are fighting back against this racism.

Anyone with information is asked to call 603-431-1199. Rewards up to $1,000 are being offered for information leading to an arrest.

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