Actions

Controversial photo sparks outrage at Marquette University

Posted: 10:17 PM, Apr 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-26 13:36:46Z

Marquette University and police are investigating a photo of men holding up guns at a black doll.

The photo was sent to a student earlier in the week. The university said it has already identified one person in the picture and is talking to them. But students are reacting to the photo.

"It's concerning to see that," said freshman Deija Richards.

"I definitely feel threatened," said sophomore Richard Nwabuzor.

"It honestly really disappointing to see," said senior Camille Porterfield. 

"I just think they went a bit of a step too far," said freshman Annie Stelter.

Marquette confirms the picture is one of a series sent to a student and later given to police. TODAY'S TMJ4 blurred the faces because no one is facing charges. The guns are fake. 

"You see the black doll and that conducts an imagine that, who are trying to send this message to. Are you trying to say you are going to hurt someone that looks like that doll?" asked Nwabuzor.

Marquette University released a statement: 

"As this process unfolds, we once again want to make it clear that incidents such as this are completely unacceptable. This is not who we aim to be. As a Catholic, Jesuit institution, we must make every effort to ensure that every member of our community feels welcome. This lies at the heart of our mission, and informs everything we do. As educators, we have an obligation to our students and our community to denounce racism and bigotry, and seek justice. Incidents such as this are a reminder that we must remain vigilant in these efforts. We are thankful to all members of our community who came forward this week."

TODAY'S TMJ4 asked the university for how many bias incidents have happened on campus in the past years and though they say they track it, it is not public. However, some students say they regularly see racial bias on campus.

"If you don't have your backpack on this campus or Marquette apparel and you are a student of color chances are you will be asked if you are loitering, which has happened to me," said Richards. "We have the Marquette limos, which is our own service to pick up students. They will pull off on you." 

They want to see the university work to change that.

"Most definitely, something needs to change," said sophomore Wesley Blakely.

The university said they cannot say if any of the men in the photo are students. They also cannot say what, if any discipline will happen at the school because of privacy issues.

Marquette Police say if this does become a criminal manner it would be up to the district attorney's office to bring charges.