Campus Police Investigating Racist Flyers, Banners Posted At SMU By White Supremacists | KERA News

Campus Police Investigating Racist Flyers, Banners Posted At SMU By White Supremacists

Dec 4, 2017

Members of a white supremacist group posted banners and flyers around Southern Methodist University over the weekend.

Racist and discriminatory messages such as "Reclaim America. No more tolerance, no more diversity” and “White men! Save your people. Reject the opioid beast!” were featured on flyers on campus buildings and on a banner near the lacrosse field.

Another said gays and lesbians have "misplaced pride."

The signs, which were not authorized by the university, have been removed, and SMU police is investigating.

Texas Vanguard, the white supremacist group named on the flyers, also posted photos online of masked men giving the Nazi salute while standing in front of one of the banners.

University President R. Gerald Turner sent an email on Sunday to students and staff saying the school supports the freedom of speech and expression, but that the group that posted the signs promotes "an abhorrent message that is opposite to SMU values."

Here is Turner’s email in full from Sunday night:

“Signs were found on campus late last night and today that appear to be part of a campaign by an outside group at universities across Texas and the country. Fliers were found outside campus buildings, and a banner and flier were found near the lacrosse field. The signs were not authorized by SMU and have been removed, and SMU Police have initiated an investigation.

“While SMU strongly supports freedom of speech and expression, the outside group featured on these signs promotes an abhorrent message that is opposite to SMU values. Our University community is deeply committed to maintaining an educational environment that is welcoming and inclusive. As an institution dedicated to learning, we value respectful and civil discourse.

“Any person who hangs unauthorized signs or defaces University property is subject to prosecution. Any campus community member found responsible for violating SMU policy will be held accountable under the University’s conduct review process.

“If you have more information or find a flier, please call SMU Police at 214-768-3333. Anonymous reports may be made to 214-768-2TIP. Students with concerns about this incident may contact any of the campus resources listed below, in addition to SMU Police.”

Another university email was sent to students Monday asking for help identifying five persons of interest captured on surveillance video at Park Cities Plaza.

The video shows five individuals exiting a dark-colored, full-sized pickup truck around 11:20 p.m. Saturday. 

SMU is asking for information related to five individuals and a truck captured by surveillance cameras over the weekend.
Credit SMU police
In a campus-wide email Monday, SMU police sent this still from surveillance video of five persons of interest related to the flyers posted over the weekend.
Credit SMU police

Two individuals later are seen carrying a banner around 12:20 a.m. Sunday, according to the email.

A still from surveillance video captured over the weekend.
Credit SMU police

The local chapter of Texas Vanguard has already posted similar messages this year at SMU and other Texas campuses.