Hate crime investigation update - External Relations
Hate crime investigation update
March 28, 2018 / Hate crime investigation update
VINCENNES, Ind. - The Vincennes University Police Department (VUPD) has referred the case of a reported hate crime to the Knox County Prosecutor's office for review and potential criminal charges for reporting false information to a law agency. The Prosecutor's Office, the Indiana State Police, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been briefed on the evidence found in the case. In addition, the VUPD is requesting that Prosecutor Dirk Carnahan invite the Indiana State Police to conduct an independent investigation of the case.
VU Police Chief Robert Dunham stated, “The safety of our students and employees is our number one priority. In reports, especially ones involving a weapon, every possible avenue must be examined. We want to assure the VU community and the public that our investigation was thorough and complete and that due process is being followed. That is why we are requesting an independent investigation by the Indiana State Police.”
Just before noon on Friday, March 23, 2018, an incident classified as a hate crime was reported to the Vincennes University Police Department. A male student stated that at approximately 8:00 a.m. (EDT), while approaching the dining center, he was threatened by an unknown male brandishing a firearm and wearing a white head covering. The alleged assailant made racial slurs and instructed the student to return to his dorm. The student reported that he complied and walked away slowly at which point the assailant lowered the weapon and ran away. No injuries were reported.
Vincennes University conducted an extensive investigation, including interviews, a review of hours of security videotape in and around the student's residence hall and the area near where the incident reportedly took place, along with other evidence. Video evidence shows that the alleged victim was in his residence hall at the time the incident was reported to have occurred and stayed there that morning before leaving to file a report with VUPD shortly before noon. Findings from the investigation led to the referral to the Knox County Prosecutor and the Indiana State Police.