FBI Reviews Beta Bridge Graffiti; Determines No Racial Undertones
September 8, 2005 --
Today the FBI stated that graffiti found last week on Beta Bridge contained no racial undertones.
University President John T. Casteen III requested the FBI review photos of the graffiti images in order to determine their meaning. The photos were sent to the Civil Rights Unit of the FBI in Washington where they were studied.
This morning, James Lamb, FBI special agent, reported the results to University Police. "A review by agents in the Civil Rights Unit found nothing to suggest racial implications," he said.
Casteen said he was grateful to have definitive information from the nation's top law enforcement agency. "At the same time," he added, "I am grateful to the many people who worked overtime for several days to resolve what had become a sensitive public issue in our community."
On Monday, Aug. 29, a group of University of Virginia students had reported the offensive graffiti on Beta Bridge to Charlottesville Police. The graffiti included, among other things, derogatory images of women, a red eye and the words "G Wizard, "G Society," and "G Bug."
During the intervening days, there was speculation as to the meaning of the graffiti, with some people linking it to recent racial incidents and to the Ku Klux Klan. It was that speculation that prompted the request for FBI assistance.
Contact: Carol Wood, (434) 924-6189