Duke University is investigating how a printout of George Floyd’s toxicology report, with comments insinuating his death was related to drugs, ended up pinned to a Black History Month bulletin board display on campus, according to the school and reports.
The flier was found Saturday pinned to a display honoring black victims of police violence and was inscribed with handwritten remarks in pink pen that said: “Mix of drugs presents in difficulty breathing! Overdose? Good Man? Use of fake currency is a felony!”
Floyd — who died after a police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes — had allegedly used a counterfeit $20 bill at a Minneapolis store before his death. The incident sparked massive anti-racism protests across the country.
Originally, the Hennepin County medical examiner announced Floyd, 46, had “recent methamphetamine use” and “fentanyl intoxication,” as well as hypertension and coronary artery disease, and said they were possible contributing factors to his death.
However, two doctors who conducted an independent autopsy of Floyd said he had no underlying health issues that could have contributed to his death and the cause was asphyxiation.
Matt Mohn, the freshman who found the flier, called the act “audacious” and said the paper was taken down about 30 minutes after he reported it to his resident adviser, KCTV 5 reported, citing CNN.
“All of a sudden, someone comes up and is essentially sticking a thumb in the face of every black person, saying his life didn’t matter, that he wasn’t a good person, because of one $20 bill,” Mohn said.
“I was just really, really surprised by it, that someone would put that much effort into trying to strip someone of their humanity for no reason.”
Another freshman, who is black, saw a photo of the flier and said he was “honestly terrified.”
“That happened right down the hall from where I sleep, from where I’m supposed to be safe,” Michael Manns said.
“The thought that it could be someone I’ve lived with all these months really terrified me.”
In a letter to the student body, Duke said the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards, the Office for Institutional Equity, and the Duke University Police Department are probing the incident and asked anyone with information to come forward.
The letter said if Duke students are found to be responsible for the flier, sanctions will be issued.
“Any incident that is motivated in whole or part by an individual’s race, warrants ‘acceleration’ or elevation of sanctioning due to the impact on the community,” the letter stated.
“If the investigation does not identify a responsible student, we will inform the community of that outcome on or before April 15 as part of our monthly conduct update. We are also working closely with our Campus Life departments to provide direct outreach to Black-identified students. Additional support resources available to all students are included below the signature of this message.”