University of Missouri Student Body President Payton Head issued a chilling warning of a “confirmed” Ku Klux Klan presence on campus Tuesday — only to admit it was not true hours later.
He quickly sparked panic with a Facebook post claiming he was actively working with “the MUPD, the state trooper and the National Guard” on the so-called threat.
— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) November 11, 2015
An official with the University of Missouri Police Department refuted the claim a short time later, telling TheBlaze there is “no Ku Klux Klan on campus.”
Major Brian Weimer with Mizzou Police Departemnt tells me, "There is no Ku Klux Klan on campus."
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) November 11, 2015
Head eventually deleted his post on the KKK scare. The scrubbing was followed by a full apology for spreading misinformation.
Student body president apologizes for spreading the ‘KKK at Mizzou' rumor pic.twitter.com/A55Ap713o6
— Brandon Wall (@Walldo) November 11, 2015
“I take completely blame and fault for my actions,” he later tweeted.
The online emergency information center for the University of Missouri urged students not to spread false rumors.
— MU Alert (@MUalert) November 11, 2015
But tensions remained high on campus on Wednesday.
University of Missouri police said Wednesday they have arrested a suspect accused of making online threats against black students and faculty, threats that added to racial tensions on campus that resulted in the departure of two senior university officials.
Police did not release a name but said the suspect was not on or near the university’s Columbia campus when the threat was made. The suspect is in custody.
“We had additional officers on patrol last night and the campus remained safe,” Major Brian Weimer said in a statement. “We investigated a number of reports and tips and take every one of them seriously.”
The online posts discovered on the anonymous location-based messaging app YikYak and other social media Tuesday threatened to “shoot every black person I see.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.