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Police arrest black university employee for racist graffiti featuring N-word, swastika on school building

Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

Authorities have arrested a black former Emory University employee after he was accused of writing the N-word and drawing swastikas on the exterior of the university's autism center in August.

The university in Atlanta, Georgia, is said to have repeatedly dodged questions about the former employee's race in the weeks following the incident.

What are the details?

Emory University's Police Department arrested former part-time employee Roy Lee Gordon and charged him with second-degree burglary in connection to an Aug. 9 incident.

In a news release, officials noted that Gordon is reportedly the same person who allegedly wrote the N-word and drew swastikas at the Emory Autism Center.

According to a report from the College Fix, Emory officials knew the man's identity since early August, but did not inform the campus community of his race.

"Asked for a mugshot and information on what Gordon is accused of stealing, and what his possible motivation was for allegedly committing these acts, Emory spokesperson Gana Ahn told The College Fix on Thursday that, 'Unfortunately, we are unable to share any additional details beyond what is in the statement,'" the outlet reported.

"Emory is unable to share personnel information and can't speculate his intentions," Ahn told the College Fix in the statement.

On Wednesday, Emory announced that it continues to condemn "acts of racism and antisemitism."

In a report, Edwin Gonzalez, one of the officers who responded to the Aug. 9 incident, wrote, "Upon my arrival, I met with REDACTED, the campus groups supervisor. REDACTED informed me that the glass door to the rear entrance of the facility was shattered. REDACTED believed that the door was damaged over the weekend. REDACTED also told me that the cleaning crew had access to the building over the weekend."

According to the report, an unnamed university staffer "inspected the second and third floors of the facility and discovered that the building had been vandalized, with swastikas and the (N) word written in the hallways and office space near room 324."

"The vending machines on the second floor near room 215 were also vandalized," the report continued. "I continued canvassing the building and discovered additional graffiti and swastikas throughout the property near rooms 220, 329, 318, 308 and 304. ... I took photos of the graffiti and other damage and attached them to this report. I did not see any sign of forced entry into the offices. I did not see any fingerprints or burglar tool marks."

The College Fix report concluded, "The arrest warrant for Gordon was issued August 20. The vast majority of arrest warrants include a suspect's race, but officials refused to provide The College Fix a copy of this public document. Because of this, The College Fix first raised the possibility that the incident was indeed a hate-crime hoax on August 2."

What else?

Emory Police Chief Cheryl D. Elliott in a statement told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "This case was a priority for our entire department, including our security systems team. I'm proud of the work from the team and our law enforcement partners to recognize the sensitivity of this case to our community and bring a resolution."

In a statement, university leaders told WAGA-TV, "These acts of racism and antisemitism are painful for all of us at the EAC and in the Emory community. They 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."

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