Student Mistakes Glue Gun for a Real Gun, Sparks Campus Lockdown, Racial Profiling Accusations

Tensions are high Colgate University. (screenshot)

Students at Colgate University held a protest Tuesday after a Black student who was deemed an “active shooter” was found to be carrying a glue gun and not a firearm.

“I have been racially profiled several times on this campus,” another student, Tolu Emokpae, tells NewsChannel 2. “I’m not hearing anything about doing something, all I hear is about them understanding.”

Students gathered to protest on campus and signs reading “Black Lives Matter” sprung up, including inscriptions on what was originally meant to be a sustainability project.

Colgate President Brian W. Casey announced Tuesday, May 2 that he is investigating the incident students described as racial profiling, saying he has “called for a thorough, deeper review of all matters related to last night.”

Casey added Campus Safety Director Bill Ferguson, who led the security efforts, was immediately placed on administrative leave amid an investigation. A public report on the matter will be released within 10 days.

Casey said a student called campus police just before 8 p.m. Monday to report a Black male walking into the campus center holding what was thought to be a gun. Updates shared on Colgate’s social media accounts alerted students to an alleged armed individual on the premises.

“After the initial report, campus safety contacted local law enforcement units, which proceeded to engage in steps associated with reports of a person with a gun in a public setting,” Casey said. “Only after it was determined that the person in the Coop [student center] was a Colgate student — who had a glue gun needed for an art project — was campus safety able to end the campus lockdown.”

Casey said the administration is in touch with the student who was wrongly reported. Emokpae told NewsChannel 1 the accused Black male had called for the “unification of the campus.” Officials also will be in contact with the student who made the erroneous report.

“It is important that we understand the role that implicit racial bias had in the initial reporting of and responses to the events of last night,” Casey said. “I want to make sure we speak with those who made and received the initial report to understand the role this played.”

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