Graffiti found on campus criticizes University and MPD

Messages critical of board of trustees member, AUPD and MPD

Editor's note: Photos and language including profanity have been included for accuracy.

Graffiti critical of the University and the Metropolitan Police Department was found on American University’s campus early Monday morning, University spokesperson Lisa Stark confirmed to The Eagle. 

The Eagle found graffiti in front of the Woods-Brown Amphitheater and the provost’s office as well as behind both the sports center and sports center annex.

The messages found on campus included “AU cops are bastards” and “FIRE WES BUSH AU is murder complicit.”

According to Stark, AUPD is investigating the incident and the University will “take appropriate next steps on the results of that investigation.”

The messages follow a student campaign urging the University to remove newly appointed Board of Trustees member Wesley Bush. Students and faculty criticized Bush’s appointment to the Board because of his ties to the defense industry and the positions he formerly held at the defense company Northrop Grumman.

In a statement to The Eagle, AU’s chapter of Dissenters, a student group that aims to divest schools from war and who has been active in Bush’s removal campaign, said, “AUDissenters understands the frustration of students at American University as our administration continues to defend the horrendous acts of war-profiteer Wes Bush. We stand in solidarity with the many ways students are resisting his presence on our campus.”

Other messages referenced the death of 20-year-old Karon Hylton-Brown, who died in October after being chased on his moped by MPD officers.

The University’s 2020-2021 conduct code lists “Intentionally or recklessly destroying or damaging university property or the property of others” in its prohibited conduct section.

Stark said that Facilities Management has been instructed to clean up the sites, and if community members have information that would be helpful to identify the person responsible, they can send an anonymous tip using the Rave Guardian app.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

gferris@theeagleonline.com and nheller@theeagleonline.com

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