November 12, 2015 / 7:00 PM / 4 years ago

Howard University tightens security after death threat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Howard University in Washington tightened security on Thursday after an online death threat against the historically black college that its president said was a reflection of heightened racial tensions on U.S. campuses.

The threat against the school in the U.S. capital follows Monday’s resignation of top University of Missouri officials following student protests over their handling of reports of racial abuse.

Howard President Dr. Wayne Frederick said the 10,300-student private school was aware of the threat and was working with campus, local and federal law enforcement officials.

“This is an ongoing investigation. However, in an abundance of caution, the university has increased security on campus and at area metro (subway) stations,” he said in a statement.

The anonymous threat, posted on an online comment board on Wednesday, said its writer had left the University of Missouri on Tuesday and returned to Maryland.

Laced with epithets, racial slurs and misspellings, the post said the writer would attack blacks at Howard after 10 on Thursday, without specifying morning or evening, as well as those using the subway.

“After all, it’s not murder if they’re black,” it said. A copy was posted on Twitter.

Frederick said in an interview with CNN that the threat was a sign of a growing national problem that black students face in terms of being treated fairly and equally and being in a safe environment.

“There’s a growing frustration of students of color as to how they’re being treated on campus ... and we’re hearing and seeing that,” he said.

The Washington office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was aware of the threat. It urged people with information to contact the FBI or police.

Editing by Bernadette Baum

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