Twitter threats: ‘I will shoot any black person I see at Kean University’
Security was heightened on the campus of Kean University Union Wednesday following serious threats — some targeting black students — made via Twitter late Tuesday night.
"Campus police took immediate action to pursue the identity of the individual(s) responsible for the threatening tweets, notifying the Department of Homeland Security, state, county and local municipalities, and providing heightened security on campus," read a statement from Kean University police, which said the campus will be open as usual on Wednesday.
Several threats were tweeted against black students via a Twitter account that appeared to be brand new. "I will shoot any black person i see at kean university(sic)," read one tweet. Another said there was a bomb on campus.
"We are profoundly troubled by this display of hatred which does not reflect in any way the values we hold sacred on our diverse campus. We will continue to keep the campus community informed of any further developments in this case," campus police said.
The university also said it respects students' right to "use your own best judgment in deciding whether or not to come to campus." A photo taken of a campus parking lot on Wednesday morning around 9 a.m. shows a nearly empty lot. "This lot would be packed full," tweeted @Deemeehaa.
Kean Student Body President Nigel Donald initially tweeted his suggestion that students not attend classes on Wednesday and urged students to stay in their residence halls. He later tweeted a message of support for campus security. "Today have confidence that our Campus Police will rise to action, assuring safety and security through the remainder of the week," tweeted Donald.
Kean spokesperson Margaret McCorry said "If you don't feel safe, don't come to school." But, she said, work that is missed will have to be made up. "You won't be penalized" for not doing the work that same day.
New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness is scheduled to host the 2015 Violent Extremist Speaker Series on the Kean campus today. The office said it would be “bringing in nationally recognized subject matter experts to provide greater insight into the current state of extremism around the world and how those threats from abroad are impacting us here in the U.S.”