Conservative news outlets rushed to declare a racially charged incident at the University of Missouri a hoax — only to have their conspiracy theory easily debunked by another conservative website.
Amid rising tensions at the University of Missouri over racist treatment of the school’s African-American student population and failure of school administrators to do anything about it, someone apparently drew a swastika with excrement in one of the dorm bathrooms. The incident was a turning point, further fueling outrage and prompting MU president Tim Wolfe to resign.
The existence of the vandalism was confirmed by a police report obtained by The Daily Caller. While it’s true authorities and school officials have been tight-lipped about the details of the incident, the police report, dated Oct. 29 and written by Mizzou police Detective Baker, confirms police saw it for themselves.
The vandalism was first seen at Gateway Hall, a student residence, on Oct. 24, the Caller reports.
“In room 3175 I noticed there was a swastika drawn on the wall by someone using feces,” Baker wrote in the report. “There was also feces on the floor located by the entry way to the restroom.”
Police reports are generally public information and can be obtained through a records request.
Sean Davis, writing for The Federalist, another conservative publication, was the first to make the sweeping claim that “no evidence of the alleged incident, in which a poop swastika on the wall of a dormitory restroom was reported, has ever been made publicly available.”
On Wednesday, conservative website Breitbart called the incident a hoax.
“No evidence has yet surfaced that a Nazi symbol made of human feces was left on campus at Missouri, less still that it was a racially-charged statement,” railed Breitbart writer Milo Yiannopoulos, even though the police report was published by the Caller the same day.
Where is the poop? -> https://t.co/HFQYLB9ASw
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) November 12, 2015
Radio host John Ziegler made a similar claim together with a conspiracy theory as to why former MU president Tim Wolfe took no action on the incident, which ultimately lead to his resignation.
“Seems Mizzou Prez didn’t act on ‘Poop Swastika’ because it was hoax but was afraid to prove that for fear of offending blacks,” Ziegler tweeted Tuesday.
The Caller reports that police have declined to release further information on the incident. It occurred in the context of heated racial tensions that have resulted in campus protests, including a threatened strike by the university’s football team and a graduate student embarking on a hunger strike.
Things continued to intensify this week when death threats against the university’s black students were made, resulting in arrests.