UNF investigating Snapchat 'mocking' Black Lives Matter rally

Oct 12, 2017

The University of North Florida said it's opened an investigation into a video that appears to show "people mocking, in a racist way," students who participated in a Black Lives Matter rally on campus Wednesday.

The video posted to Snapchat shows two people, who look to be in a dorm room, jumping up and down, and making monkey sounds, according to our News4Jax partner.

The Spinnaker reports the clip was posted around the time of the Black Lives Matter "Take a Knee" rally, which was held around 2:30 p.m.

In a letter sent to UNF President John Delaney and the UNF administration, Students for a Democratic Society wrote if appropriate action is not taken quickly, it will demand administrators to be removed from their positions.

In a tweet, UNF said, "We began investigating immediately upon receiving a copy of the video at approximately 6 p.m. today, Wednesday, Oct. 11."

A message from Delaney was sent to students, faculty and staff Thursday morning that reads:

The University is investigating a social media video that appears to show several people mocking, in a racist way, participants in a Black Lives Matter rally that took place on campus Wednesday afternoon. We received notice of the video last night. I understand that videos such as this are very hurtful to many people.

We will conduct a full and fair investigation.

We are a campus with strong policies and practices concerning racial harmony, civility, diversity, respect and bullying. In matters such as this, there are always elements of free speech, due process and federal laws concerning privacy.

As the investigation continues, it's important to note that under federal privacy laws, the University may be constrained in what it can reveal publicly.

UNF has a Code of Student Conduct, and if we determine the Code was violated, the University will take responsible and appropriate action.

As a reminder, UNF is committed to values that promote the welfare and positive transformation of individuals, communities and societies.

We value the pursuit of truth and knowledge carried out in the spirit of intellectual and artistic freedom. Our Values Statement embraces:

  • Ethical Conduct
  • Community Engagement
  • Diversity
  • Responsibility to the Natural Environment
  • Mutual Respect and Civility

If you are impacted by this matter, we have several campus resources that might be helpful to you. These links will take you to each office's web page, so you can make an appointment or check out their services:

  • Department of Diversity Initiatives
  • Counseling Center
  • Commission on Diversity and Inclusion

We will update the campus community as appropriate.