Detectives from the Beloit Police Department have been investigating three incidents of potential hate crimes involving two students. Detectives have arrested Michael Kee, 20 years old, for Obstructing, Disorderly Conduct, and Criminal Damage regarding the incident reported on Jan. 30.
According to an updated news release from the college, Kee is a Beloit College student who reported that the wall next to and his dorm room door had been spray painted with a bias symbol and phrases related to his religion and ethnicity. Kee was the second student victim from the Jan. 30th reported incident. Kee was interviewed and confessed that he had done the spray painting. The release says Kee observed how the Beloit College community had come together after the first reported incident and wanted similar attention.
According to Beloit Police statement, "The false report by Kee may only serve to delegitimize other victims of these types of egregious offenses. However, we believe it is important for our community to know that Kee’s incident does not diminish our resolve going forward with these reported incidents and any other reported crimes of this nature."
The college statement concluded, "This situation does not diminish the college’s resolve in resisting xenophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, and Islamophobia that aims to intimidate and silence its targets. The Beloit College investigations of hate crimes continues."
Previous story: (published 1/30/17)
Two Beloit College students were the target of hate crimes this weekend.
According to a statement issued by the school, an anti-Semitic note was placed under a student’s door in a Beloit College residence hall on Friday. An anti-Muslim threat was spray painted on a different student's residence hall door and an offensive symbol was painted on a nearby wall.
According to the statement, both events are under investigation by the Beloit Police Department.
Immediately after the first event, the college increased the number of security staff on duty, increased their patrol of the residential side of campus, and added restrictions to residence hall entry access. Additional security cameras are being installed on campus.
Beyond the immediate actions to ensure their safety, all students -- as well as faculty, staff, parents and guardians -- received email messages about the hate crime and the college’s current and planned responses.
The Beloit community will be gathering at an event today "to take a first step towards harnessing some of the collective strength and wisdom we can draw from each other."
The release says Beloit College continues to actively pursue inclusivity and anti-racist goals to "make sure that all members of our community are safe and their voices are heard. We deeply value and respect our students and all of the members of the Beloit community. Behavior like this does not define Beloit. It is completely antithetical to all the Beloit community stands for and will not be tolerated."