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Student arrested for campus swastika

A University of Connecticut student has been and charged with a hate crime for allegedly spray-painting a swastika on a campus building “directly across the street from [the] UConn Hillel” building, the Hartford Courant reported on Friday, April 30, 2021 (read story here).

The newspaper said Kristopher Pieper (photo, left), 21, was caught “using campus security camera footage, wireless internet records and his use of his student access card to enter buildings the night of the incident,” according to the police arrest warrant, and reported that this “graffiti was the latest in a series of anti-Semitic incidents at UConn over the past several months.”

Police believe the incidents “are related,” but have only accused Pieper of the latest, because security cameras were too far away to provide positive identification in the other cases. He’s presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law.

Their investigation turned up evidence that Pieper, a junior in anthropology and GIS, is sympathetic to Nazi ideology. Whether he’ll be kicked out of school is subject to a student disciplinary process.

In this country, people can believe anything they want to, which includes holding views others find offensive or obnoxious, and can say whatever they like (subject to very few limits), but vandalism is a crime and colleges have a certain amount of latitude in determining who can attend their institutions and be on their campuses. So we’ll see how this plays out.

Probably in a way that wasn’t worth it.

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