Tags: graeme phillip harris | guilty | noose | statue

Graeme Phillip Harris Guilty of Putting Noose on Ole Miss Statue

By    |   Friday, 19 Jun 2015 10:42 AM

Former Ole Miss student Graeme Phillip Harris pleaded guilty Thursday to putting a noose around the neck of a statue of civil rights activist James Meredith in 2014.

Harris admitted in court to his role in a racially charged incident at the University of Mississippi, for which he faced a charge of threatening force to intimidate African-Americans at the Oxford school, Fox News reported. A noose and Confederate flag were placed on the statue.

The statue of Meredith honors his civil rights fight, which occurred when he was admitted to the university in 1962, Fox said. Meredith had to be escorted on campus by federal agents and protests over his attendance at the school ended in the deaths of two people.

Harris, of Alpharetta, Georgia, was not sentenced this week, but he faces a year in prison and may be fined up to $100,000 Fox said.

"We're thankful that this case has been brought to a resolution and responsibility has been accepted for this deplorable act. It is our hope that by bringing closure to this investigation we can begin the healing process for all those affected by the behavior that took place the morning of Feb. 16, 2014," Dr. Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for student affairs, said in a university release, quoted by Fox, about Harris’ plea.

Ole Miss students fights the stigma of being a racist university, according to the Daily Mail, banning Confederate flags from football games in 2003 and changing its mascot in 2010 from Confederate Colonel Reb to a black bear. Still, the image persists – in 2012, students protesting President Barack Obama’s reelection shouted racial epithets and burned signs, the newspaper said.

As news of Harris’ plea broke this week, right on the heels of the racially motivated church shooting in Charleston that killed nine people, some connected the historic events at Ole Miss:

 


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Former Ole Miss student Graeme Phillip Harris pleaded guilty Thursday to putting a noose around the neck of a statue of civil rights activist James Meredith in 2014.
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Friday, 19 Jun 2015 10:42 AM
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