News and Commentary

Mizzou Student Body President’s KKK Warning Turns Out to Be Hoax

Payton Head, the University of Missouri Student Body President who’s unsubstantiated allegation that racist comments were directed at him helped spark the outcry by activists that led to the resignation of the university president, made another claim Tuesday that turned out not just to be unsubstantiated but patently false.

Tuesday the student body president at the heart of the movement that ousted both University President Tom Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin posted on Facebook that there was a “confirmed” Ku Klux Klan presence on campus.

“Student please take precaution,” wrote Head in a Facebook post. “Stay away from windows in residence halls. The KKK has been confirmed to be sighted on campus. I’m working with the MUPD, the state trooper and the National Guard.”

However, TheBlaze reports that a “short time later” an official with the University of Missouri Police Department refuted Head’s claim, telling the outlet there is “no Ku Klux Klan on campus.”

Head pulled the post and issued an apology for the “misinformation” which he said he got from “multiple sources.”

I’m sorry about the misinformation that I have shared through social media. In a state of alarm, I was concerned for all students of the University of Missouri and wanted to ensure that everyone was safe. I received and shared information from multiple incorrect sources, which I deeply regret. The last thing needed is to incite more fear in the hearts of our community. In the future, please receive emergency updates from or @MUalert on Twitter ONLY.

Head later posted and apology on Twitter, saying, “I take completely blame and fault for my actions.”

In neither post did he specifically explain his claim about working with the MUPD, state troopers, and the National Guard, which gave the impression that they had “confirmed” the report.

As The Daily Wire reported, Head’s original claim that a group of young white people in the back of a pickup truck yelled racial slurs was never substantiated. The only facts we do know is that the alleged incident did not actually happen on campus, instead happening near it, and that the Columbia Police Department never received a report on the incident. Other than Head’s social media post describing the alleged incident, there’s no evidence it occurred. Could it have happened? Of course. Did it? No one knows but Head.

The level of anxiety and tension on campus has ramped up over the last few days. The university police said Wednesday that they’ve arrested a suspect who posted a message online threatening to “shoot every black person I see.” Authorities have provided no name but did note that the suspect was not on or near the campus when the threat was posted.

“We had additional officers on patrol last night and the campus remained safe,” said Major Brian Weimer in a statement. “We investigated a number of reports and tips and take every one of them seriously.”

The MUPD sent out a stunning mass email this week urging students to report “hateful and/or hurtful speech,” which has naturally led to backlash over the anti-First Amendment implications of such a policy.

UPDATE: Another unsubstantiated report about rampant racism on the Mizzou campus—this time featuring groups of white students standing in circles chanting “White Power!”—has been posted by Black Lives Matter leader Sean King with no evidence to support it presented as of yet:

Image above (via AP): “Members of the black student protest group, Concerned Student 1950, raise their arms while addressing a crowd following the announcement University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe would resign Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Mo. Wolfe resigned Monday with the football team and others on campus in open revolt over his handling of racial tensions at the school.”

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Mizzou Student Body President’s KKK Warning Turns Out to Be Hoax