News Aug 27, 2021 4:32 PM EST

Emory University won't share suspect's race after Autism Center was vandalized with swastikas, racial slurs: report

Racial slurs discovered at Emory Autism Center were reportedly written near workspace occupied by two African American women. Swastikas were discovered in a hallway near a Jewish man's office.

Emory University won't share suspect's race after Autism Center was vandalized with swastikas, racial slurs: report
Mia Cathell The Post Millennial
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After swiftly condemning an alleged racist attack several weeks ago, Emory University now won't share the race of the suspect accused of vandalizing the university's Autism Center with racist graffiti, according to The College Fix.

Georgia law enforcement charged suspected vandal Roy Lee Gordon, Jr., a former part-time staff member, with burglary second degree for allegedly leaving racist and antisemitic graffiti at an Emory University building, The College Fix reported.

On the weekend of Aug. 7 and 8, the racial slurs were reportedly written along the walls near the workspace occupied by two African American women. Swastikas were also discovered in a hallway near a Jewish man's office, WSB-TV reported.

A much longer email was sent campus-wide to the Emory University community after returning staff found the "senseless act of vandalism including graffiti with racial slurs and swastikas, and damage to physical property" on Monday, Aug. 9.

"Emory University is committed to fostering a safe and inclusive campus for all faculty, staff, students, patients and their families," the private Atlanta school said in its Aug. 20 statement that accompanied the criminal charge announcement.

The message from several university officials vowed that the "painful" acts "will not be tolerated and every effort will be made to bring the perpetrators to justice."

"Our priority remains the wellbeing and safety of our faculty, staff, learners, patients and their families, and upholding our values and Emory's commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion," university leaders stated.

"As we heal in the days and weeks ahead, it is important that we continue to support and provide strength to one another. Our goal will remain to provide an environment and a learning community focused on each other and maintaining an inclusive society where everyone’s identity is valued and celebrated," the memo concluded.

However, the university's police department and media relations office refuses to answer questions on Gordon's race. The state has a new hate crime law, but the suspect tied to the early August incident has not been charged under the statute.

According to WSB-TV, former DeKalb District Attorney Robert James said the crime could fall under the Georgia statue's jurisdiction. "As long as there are people that would do something like this, our laws have to be constructed in such a way that they can be adequately addressed," James said.

"I believe this is why [the hate crime statute] was drafted and passed in the first place, to address conduct like this," James told WSB-TV.

The local Atlanta-based news station took the information from the Emory police report, although it did not link to a copy of the notes, The College Fix noted. The police report also mentioned vandalized vending machines, a shattered glass door, and a large rock several feet away, according to WSB-TV.

"Laura Diamond on the Emory University Communications team manages all media requests," Morieka Johnson, the public information office and police communications director, told The College Fix via email on Aug. 23.

Johnson also refused to provide a copy of the police report, arrest warrant, and photos of the alleged vandalism to the outlet focused on higher education.

"Thank you for contacting us. We nothing [sic] to add beyond what's posted [in the press statements]," Diamond had told The College Fix a day earlier on Aug. 22.

The College Fix has since filed a public records request with Fulton County for a copy of the arrest warrant that has yet to be released.

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