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Feds Prosecute Students Who Tied Noose, Confederate Flag Around Statute of Black Man

James Merideth Statue
AP File Photo: Thomas Graning/Daily Mississippian

Two college students have been prosecuted for tying a rope and a Confederate flag around the statute of the first black American to attend the University of Mississippi.

The statute of James Meredith was tied with a rope and an outdated Georgia flag. The flag predominately depicts the Confederate flag on it.

Both of the students charged were attending the University of Mississippi.

The first student, Graeme Phillip Harris of Alpharetta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to the federal civil rights crime in June of 2015. Harris was sentenced to six months in prison.

The second young man, Austin Reed Edenfield of Kennesaw, Georgia, has now pleaded guilty to the same charge, according to a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The statement says that Edenfield pleaded guilty to one count of using a threat of force to intimidate black students and employees because of their race or color.

Edenfield has not been sentenced yet.

According to court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas, Edenfield was in his dorm room at the university in February of 2014 when he received a telephone call from his fraternity brother, Graeme Harris. Harris asked Edenfield to go out drinking with him and another fraternity brother.

The fact statement contained in the court document also said that Edenberg “knew that Harris frequently used racist language, that Harris believed African-Americans are inferior to whites, that Harris enjoyed listening to music containing violent lyrics about whites harming African-Americans, and that Harris objected to living in what he called a ‘Ni**er dorm.’”

The federal court document also stated that Edenfield knew that James Meredith was the first African-American student to enroll at the University of Mississippi and that black students and staff “would reasonably perceive the flag and rope as a form of intimidation and as a potential threat of violence.”

After they committed the act, Edenfield and Harris went back to see the statute about sunrise the next morning. When they passed a white university maintenance worker, Harris allegedly raised his hand in a closed fist and yelled “white power.”

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2


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