Purdue investigating vandalism as possible hate crime

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Police at Purdue are investigating a possible hate crime on campus Tuesday morning.

Investigators say a placard left by protestors during a Monday display in front of Hovde Hall was found defaced with a racial slur and a stick figure of a body hanging from a tree.

Police say the incident is being investigated as a hate crime "since property was altered or destroyed and the conduct was apparently motivated by bias." The vandalism is also being investigated by the dean's office as a violation of the student code of conduct.

"If a student is involved, he or she will go through the university disciplinary process and could face expulsion if found responsible," Dean of Students Danita Brown said.

"Bigotry and hate are neither welcomed nor tolerated at Purdue University. We welcome those who speak freely, in the open, and with respect for each individual. Without free discourse, we cannot fulfill our mission. There is no place at Purdue for those who act from hatred. If you recognize yourself in this last sentence, you are not welcome at Purdue," Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said in a release from the school.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Purdue Police Department at 765-494-8221 or its anonymous tip line at 765-496-3784.