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The Ole Miss fraternity expel a member who appeared to make monkey-like noises at the black protester

A college association at the University of Mississippi, where a member chased a black protester last week by appearing to make monkey-like noises and gestures, said the man has been expelled from the organization.

NBC News has not independently identified the former Phi Delta Theta fraternity member who was part of a large, vocal group that surrounded and harassed pro-Palestinian protesters at Ole Miss. But in a statement Sunday, the fraternity said it had located the man. captured in a viral video and distanced himself from him.

“Phi Delta Theta General Headquarters is aware of the video regarding the student protest at the University of Mississippi,” the statement said. “The racist actions in the video were those of an individual and are contrary to the values ​​of Phi Delta Theta and the Mississippi Alpha chapter. The person responsible was removed from membership on Friday, May 3.”

Meanwhile, the school said it is launching an investigation into the behavior of at least one student during the counter-protests. Chancellor Glenn F. Boyce sent a letter to students and staff on Friday noting that Ole Miss leaders were aware of behavior that was “offensive, hurtful and unacceptable, including actions that conveyed hostility and racist undertones” during Thursday’s protest .

“While student privacy laws prohibit us from commenting on a specific student, we have opened one investigation into student conduct,” he wrote. “We are investigating whether more cases are needed.”

Videos of the protest posted on social media show the larger crowd, of about 200 apparently mostly white young people, surrounding and shouting at the multiracial group of about 30 pro-Palestinian protesters.

A video still of hecklers yelling at a pro-Palestinian protester (Stacey J. Spiehler via AP)A video still of hecklers yelling at a pro-Palestinian protester (Stacey J. Spiehler via AP)

A video still of hecklers yelling at a pro-Palestinian protester (Stacey J. Spiehler via AP)

Another video showed counter-protesters singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” to drown out the chants of pro-Palestinian demonstrators, while yet another video showed a large crowd of men, including two male students who appeared to be white, in overalls with American flag. , yelling toward a black female graduate student. In the video, the woman appears to be walking towards the crowd as she records them on her phone. The woman and the two men, whose identities NBC News has not independently verified, did not respond to requests for comment.

On the right side of the image, another man can be seen jumping up and down and appearing to make a noise to imitate a monkey. That person has not been identified.

Members of the crowd also chanted: “Lock her up!” as police led the woman away from the hecklers and inside a video shared on social media by Rep. Mike Collins, R-Georgia.

Collins, who announced the counterprotest on social media last week, said Monday that while he still supports the counterprotest, if anyone in the video is found to have treated another human being inappropriately because of their race, he should . punished appropriately, and will hopefully ask for forgiveness.”

The racial elements of the encounter led many observers online to point out Mississippi’s long and sordid history of violent racism against black people. Its senators voted to send all its black people back to Africa over 100 years ago. When the University of Mississippi was ordered by a federal court to admit black students in 1962, 2,000 white people rioted against the arrival of the new student, James Meredith. The first demonstration in a gated area of ​​the Quad came as colleges across the country have become the backdrop for pro-Palestinian protests ranging from small and peaceful to shockingly violent.

In a statement sent to the news media shortly after the meeting, Ole Miss said it was “committed to supporting the rights of our students, faculty and staff to respectfully express their views and assemble peacefully, as enshrined in the First Amendment. While today’s demonstration was passionate and several protesters and counter-protesters received warnings from law enforcement about their actions, no arrests were made, no injuries were reported and the demonstration ended peacefully.”

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