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The murder investigation into the killing of a young college student in New York City took a decidedly “racist” turn for the worse after it was reported that white supremacists have been targeting school officials.

Tessa Majors, an 18-year-old freshman at Barnard College, was found clinging to life before succumbing to knife wounds sustained during an apparent mugging in Morningside Park in upper Manhattan on Dec. 11. 

According to a new report from the New York Times on Thursday, robocalls were left at Barnard College and Columbia University, Barnard’s sister school, on Christmas Day. The report came hours after the NYPD announced it had “located” the prime murder suspect — a 14-year-old who had been on the run for more than two weeks.

“As detectives were questioning the 14-year-old on Thursday, Columbia University officials sent an email to the university community warning that several faculty and staff members at Columbia and Barnard had received ‘viciously racist’ robocalls from a white supremacist group. The messages were related to Ms. Majors’s death, according to the email, which was sent by three Columbia vice presidents, including the school’s head of public safety,” the Times wrote on Thursday afternoon.

The report went on to say that Columbia described the calls as “abhorrent” with school officials saying “they were investigating the calls with the Police Department.”

The new developments seemed to solidify the very prominent role that race has played in Majors’ murder investigation.

The New York Times report came less than a week after a Connecticut man was arrested for threatening to kill Black people in Harlem as a means of seeking retaliation for Majors’ murder.

The NYPD has already charged 13-year-old Zyairr Davis with felony murder after he purportedly admitted to his role in the killing without a lawyer present. After Davis’ arrest, it was reported that NYPD Detective Wilfredo Acevedo, who made the arrest, has been sued multiple times, alongside other officers, for allegations of withholding exculpatory evidence and making false accusations. One of those lawsuits came in 2010 when a Black man from Harlem accused Acevedo and a group of officers of falsely arresting him for drug and gun possession. The city ultimately settled the lawsuit for $50,000 and no admission of wrongdoing.


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