‘It pays to be white’: Missouri student avoids jail after threat to shoot ‘every black person I see’
A former student at the University of Missouri who threatened to shoot ‘every black person I see’ on the campus will not serve any prison time, reports the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Hunter Park, 20, was given a three-year suspended sentence and five years of probation for posting online threats against black students on the MU campus following protests last November that led to the resignation of the school’s president and chancellor.
Last year, MU president Tim Wolfe, and chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, both stepped down following protests by African-American students and a threat of a walkout by faculty over racist incidents on the campus.
Writing on the social media platform Yik Yak, Park posted, “I’m going to stand my ground and shoot every black person I see” followed by “Some of you are alright. Don’t go to campus tomorrow.”
As a result of Park’s online threats, many MU students did not attend class on Nov. 11 and several businesses in downtown Columbia closed for the day.
Not everyone was happy with the slap on the wrist given to Park, with Traci Wilson-Kleekamp of local activist group Race Matters, Friends saying, “It pays to be white.”
Prosecutor Brouck Jacobs said he accepts Judge Kevin Crane’s decision, while pointing out that Park has a history of making derogatory comments about black people. In earlier online posts, he called for them to be shot, hanged or burned. In some of the posts read in court, Park complained that some people dislike the wealthy — with the prosecutor noting that Park is from an affluent St. Louis suburb.
“This was philosophical hatred on the part of the defendant,” Jacobs told the judge.
According to authorities, this is not Park’s first run-in with the law.
In February 2015, police were contacted after he hung a Nazi flag off the balcony of his residence hall because, according to a police report, he thought his right to free speech was being violated because other students had hung a Japanese flag on campus.