Former EMU student charged in racist graffiti incident

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 - 2:12pm

Former Eastern Michigan University student Eddie Curlin has been arrested as a suspect for the series of racist graffiti found on EMU’s campus last year. The suspect, while currently serving a sentence involving stolen property, has been charged with three counts of identity theft and one count for use of computers in order to commit a crime, according to WEMU.

During September 2016, graffiti found on the side of King Hall included the letters “KKK” and “Leave N****RS,” according to the Detroit News. The next day, a racist slur was found written on a stairwell in one of the campus dormitories. One month later, more graffiti was found — the words “Leave N******” painted on the outside walls of Ford Hall, another EMU campus building.

Following the incidents, EMU President Jim Smith stated a $10,000 reward would be offered for information on the occurrences, and spoke of the administration’s commitment to providing a campus of inclusion.

“The deeper and systemic issues that are behind these incidents continue to be a focus for our student leaders, our faculty, our administration and all who care about this institution and the welfare of our students,” Smith said. “These incidents run counter to the values and mission of the University and our actions over the past several weeks and going forth have and will continue to reflect that.”

In January, however, protests erupted surrounding the University’s response to the incident, criticizing Smith — who, protesters claimed, had failed to take further action on the issue. These protests followed three months of sit-ins, and were met with backlash from administration as students were punished for refusing to leave university buildings after hours.

Curlin’s arraignment took place at the Washtenaw County District Court and he is currently being held by the Michigan Department of Corrections.