03-13-1998

Manchester Police Suspend Probe Into Racist E-Mail

STAFF REPORT

NORTH MANCHESTER – Police have suspended the investigation into a racist e-mail sent to minority Manchester College student groups.

North Manchester Police said the single message originated from a computer terminal within the school. They also said it was worded in such a way to skirt laws that may have applied if the wording had been different.

The racist e-mail was believed to be linked to two bar fights that took place in North Manchester last weekend.

Police said Thursday that although they know of no connection, both fights apparently were started with racial remarks and involved some of the same people. The investigation is continuing into the fights.

The police said they decided to suspend the investigation of the e-mail after conferring with the Wabash County prosecutor and reviewing Indiana statutes.

The message was sent Monday morning to students who are members of Manchester College International Association, Hispanos Unidos, Black Student Union and Hispanic American.

In a press release, the North Manchester Police Department said, “The police department regrets that some bigoted person would cause such a vile message to be transmitted. Our community and Manchester College is outraged and troubled with this senseless verbal attack. The student body of the college should not accept this as being typical of the North Manchester community.

“Additionally, we hope that if we are fortunate enough to learn the identity of the message’s author, should it turn out to be a student, the college will take swift action to expel this person.”

College officials said the e-mail was sent from an on-campus terminal to an address that protects the identity of the sender.

Police also said that rumors of gangs coming to North Manchester remain unsubstantiated by law enforcement.

But police said they have contingency plans in place to ensure community and student safety.

If anyone has information regarding the e-mail or the fights in North Manchester, call the North Manchester Police Department at 982-8555.


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