Administrators at Barnard College are asking the NYPD to investigate a barrage of racist robocalls targeting faculty and staffers at the New York City school, where a freshman student was recently murdered.
In a letter to the Columbia University community, which includes Barnard, officials urged anyone who received one of the vile phone messages, which are seemingly in response to the Dec. 11 killing of Tessa Majors, to contact university authorities.
“We have become aware that robocall messages from a white supremacist group were received on many faculty and staff landlines at Barnard,” the statement read, adding: “The contents [o]f this message … are abhorrent and viciously racist.”
“We write to let you know that we are actively looking into this with the NYPD and are working to block the caller,” university officials continued. “We take this attack on our values very seriously.”
Majors, a freshman at the women’s liberal arts college, was killed earlier this month when she was stabbed to death by three teenagers in a botched mugging at a park near campus, state police said. Three suspects, 13- and 14-year old boys, have been identified, but only one has been charged.
The suspects are Black and Majors was white.
Officials said several faculty and staff landlines at Barnard were targeted while the robocalls also reached a handful of employees at the affiliated Ivy league, Columbia. University officials have shared few other details about the calls or content of the messages, other than the fact that they’re racist in nature.
The incident comes just days after a Connecticut man was arrested and charged after threatening to “exterminate” one the African-American teens suspected in Majors’ slaying. In an online rant, Trevor Spring targeted the boy in series of racist and threatening posts on Reddit.
“A black kid 13/14 year old stabbed a white gurl to death for nothing. Time to exterminate the real problem,” Spring wrote, suggesting he was “armed and ready to fire” on the teen himself, adding: “Then the parents are next.”
Zyairr Davis, the 13-year-old suspect, remains jailed and faces a felony murder charge after implicating himself and two other teens in Majors’ killing. On Thursday, New York police picked up a 14-year-old allegedly linked to the crime for questioning but released him from the 26th precinct hours later.
That teen was released weeks after police questioned and released another 14-year-old in connection with Majors’ slaying. CNN reported Friday, Dec. 27, citing unnamed sources, that both 14-year-olds remain suspects and NYPD is continuing to gather enough information to proceed with arrest warrants for the two.
“Our detectives are the best at what they do and are committed to finding justice for all parties involved,” NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison tweeted after the release of the second 14-year-old, adding the investigation into Majors’ death remains “very active.”