Eastern Michigan backs student protest of racist graffiti

YPSILANTI, Mich. (AP) — The president of Eastern Michigan University says he strongly supports students’ rights to peacefully demonstrate about issues that are important to them.

Some students marched onto the field after Eastern Michigan’s 27-24 victory over Wyoming on Friday night to protest racist graffiti that was found on campus earlier in the week.

In a statement Saturday, President James Smith said the school has “great respect” for students engaged in “constructive efforts” to bring attention to issues at the Ypsilanti (ip-sih-LAN’-tee) school.

Students sat peacefully and talked to Smith during the game. They moved outside the end zone area in the closing moments before walking onto the field chanting, “No justice! No peace!”

The graffiti was found Tuesday and included the letters “KKK” and a racial epithet. Another racial slur was found Wednesday.

Eastern Michigan says it is trying to identify those responsible and will prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

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