Hunter Park, Missouri Student, Arrested for Making Racist Terror Threats
A 19-year-old student at the University of Missouri, identified as Hunter Park, was arrested for allegedly posting racially charged death threats against other students.
Park is a Missouri University of Science and Technology student, according to his online profile, studying mathematics and computer science.
“Park was contacted in Rolla, Missouri, by the University of Missouri Police and transported to the University of Missouri Police Department in Columbia where he was arrested and processed,” college campus police said in a statement. “Additional information cannot be released due to the investigative nature of the report.”
He was taken into custody at around 1:50 a.m. on Nov. 11 at a residence hall at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, the school said in a statement.
The threat against black students raised concerns on the night of Nov. 10 with the school still tense following the resignation of the UM System President Tim Wolfe.
Wolfe was under pressure from various groups for not responding to allegedly racist campus incidents. Missouri’s football team got involved, saying they would boycott practice and games until Wolfe stepped down.
Park, who is white, allegedly made the terrorist threat on anonymous social media app Yik Yak. On the app, someone posted that they would “shoot every black person I see” on Wednesday. Others tweeting from campus said people were shouting racial epithets as they drove by the school.
“Threats of violence of any kind are not tolerated,” Missouri S&T Chancellor Cheryl B. Schrader said in a statement. “As a campus, we are grateful that this situation did not escalate. I thank both of the police departments for their swift action in handling this case.”
The Missouri University Police Department was able to trace the social media posts on Yik Yak back to Park. No weapons were found during the investigation and he was transported to Boone County Jail in Columbia, Missouri, the school said.
Another threat on the social media platform said, “Some of you are alright. Don’t go to campus tomorrow,” according to screen shots of the message. The threat seemed to echo a statement that was posted on anonymous imageboard 4chan, where racist comments are common, ahead of the deadly campus shooting at an Oregon community college in October.
“We will take every threat seriously and act on them appropriately to protect our campus community,” Schrader added.
The co-founder of Yik Yak, Brooks Buffington, issued a statement about the threats made using the app:
“The threats that were posted on Yik Yak last night were both upsetting and completely unacceptable. Let’s not waste any words here: This sort of misbehavior is NOT what Yik Yak is to be used for. Period. It is not condoned by Yik Yak, and it violates our Terms of Service.”